Memoirs of a Sustainability Cynic

Throughout my entire youth, I’ve been exposed to an overabundance of Buzzfeed articles and radical e-activist blog posts describing the potential dangers of irresponsible usage of our natural resources. Like everyone else, I read these articles, worried for about five minutes, and then immediately put on an episode of Daria and continued my life of inconsistent recycling. I had developed the mentality of it just a little too late and took very few steps to help in the pursuance of the restoration and preservation of our planets resources. As began to conduct some research for this assignment, I came across some particularly interesting statistics.

According to the World Health Organization, “13 million deaths annually and nearly a quarter of all disease worldwide – including 33 percent of illnesses in children under age five – are due to environmental causes that could be avoided or prevented”. This is a particularly troubling statistic. It opened to my eyes in the way in which being more sustainable both preserves nature but also sustains human life.  Society often forgets that we cannot survive without nature. To think about the ways in which my carbon footprint could potentially end someone else’s life puts this topic into a new perspective.

In addition, I began to think about the ways that current trends will impact our environment. “The world’s cities occupy 4 percent of the Earth’s land area, yet they are home to more than half of the world’s people. By 2030, that percentage will swell to 60 percent.”  I have lived in an urban area my entire life, and watch unsustainable things take place all around me. While our country is knowledgeable of trends like these, they get lost in the shuffle of the other one million problems this country has. While I can’t change that, I can do my part in being more sustainable and encouraging those around me to do the same. I guess this sustainability cynic is starting to care a little bit more.

Works Cited

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