Every Effort Counts

Sustainability is very often seen as a broad concept. The efforts of sustainability are often left up to local governing bodies, who may or may not make the most of their positions to create sustainable environments for us all. However, efforts made by individual people can have as significant impact on the environment as well. By simply making your household one that recycles, your family can save several trees every year (sustainablog). If every household in the United States or the world did that, we could save a fantastic amount of trees and cut back on hundreds of acres of deforestation. This contrasts, however, how we conduct transportation. The burning of fossil fuels in the United States for our everyday commuting needs are some of the largest in the world. This contributes heavily to our impact on climate change. We burned about 374 million gallons of gasoline a day in 2014 (eia.gov). The problem becomes evident when, according to our reading in The Urban Transformation, many of those working in the city rely so heavily on these fuels that any reduction in the production of them would significantly impact their ability to get to and from work. This highlights many of the problems within sustainability, where changing some of our current practices could cripple our economy. It is our job to come up with new ways to conduct our daily lives.

Works Cited:
1) “Individual Recycling Efforts Do Have Impact; Periodicals Are the Difference-Makers.” Sustainablog. N.p., 03 Sept. 2008. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.
2) “EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis.” How Much Gasoline Does the United States Consume? U.S. Energy Informaiton Administration, 12 Mar. 2015. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.
3) Sclar, Elliott, Nicole Volavka-Close, and Peter Brown. “The Urbanization of Climate Change: Responding to a New Global Challenge”” The Urban Transformation: Health, Shelter and Climate Change. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2013

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5 thoughts on “Every Effort Counts

  1. You make a great point about how much of an impact can be made by individual household. Many people don’t realize the impacts that they have on the planet, both positive and negative. That’s why it’s so important to educate children on sustainable living. By creating a new generation who that is aware of their impacts on the planet, we can be on our way to a sustainable society.

    As for the fuel consumption of people in cities, I think the solution to this problem has to come from the government. Better public transportation can cut down on cities pollution, fuel consumption, etc. The only problem is that the projects cities propose are often too costly, overpriced, and inefficient when put into practice.

    Sources:
    http://www.ase.org/resources/energy-saving-tips-schools

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  2. I can definitely agree with you on the fact that every household should recycle, it’s one of those little habits that can make a huge impact. It’s a simple habit that every household should carry, and it can start by educating the younger generation to recycle and make a habit of it for not only when they are young but as they mature into adults. Also, I liked the facts you stated, it’s interesting to learn how much fossil fuels we burn just in ONE day. Some of which can be cut down if people would walk or bike ride if it were possible. Not only that but we live in a world where overweight is high, so why not walk to places instead. It not only helps the environment but for people’s own health is good as well.

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  3. I can relate to this because in my family we have a separate bin for recyclables in our home. Also, my home suburb recently gave out recycling bins a few years ago to houses to use to be greener. I think recycling is a big step to improving the environment if everyone were to start.

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  4. I really appreciated how you provided statistics to back up your points. You also provided an accurate take on our obsession with certain sources of energy. While there are many ways we can easily change our lifestyles to serve our planet better, many of them are ways that would dramatically change our day to day lives (such as changing commuting routes). It is up to us and the government to figure out ways we can educate people and provide easy ways to save our planet that anyone can do.

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  5. You really do bring up a lot of great points that anyone can relate and partner with. Often times it is the little steps that make the biggest impact. I think recycling, as you mentioned, is an easy and great step that many households can and should take. It is up to us to maintain and come up with new and fresh ways to sustain our planet.

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