India has implemented its own Wildlife Protection Act in 1972, which was passed in order to protect wildlife and their environments. This was a major step for the nation, as it ordered the protection of national parks and sanctuaries, protected some endangered plant species, and established punishments for offenders. However, the law was recently amended in 2002 to include the protection of fish and crustaceans, as well as to strengthen regulations that would make it more difficult to alter the borders of protected areas. Although the Wildlife Protection Act was established to lower and stabilize wildlife crime, it has only been on a rise due to the rapid urbanization of India. Illegal hunting (particularly of tigers), deforestation, and mass fishing has continue to be an increasing issue in the nation of India and there is very little that can be done for the conservation of wildlife as long as the pattern of India’s uncontrolled rapid urbanization continues. The “Environmental Laws of India” website states that there is not much the government can do to regulate wildlife conservation without the help from individual citizens, but how is that possible when there are not enough resources placed into growing, impoverished communities?
While Chicago has newly introduced a law that requires consumers to pay 7 cents per plastic bag, Mexico City has already banned shops and stores from giving away bags for free. In addition to that, bags must be biodegradable to lower waste pollution to promote better quality of life in the city. The controversial method that the Mexican government has put the law in to place is by fining shop owners up to $90,000 for giving away free bags. If the store owner does not comply, they can also spend up to 36 hours in jail. Although this urban innovation may be beneficial for the physical environment, in can also place store owners in a much more difficult and dangerous position. Potentially, they could find themselves inundated in debt and losing their businesses. While this project may address the five factors for sustainable development, it is not purely to the benefit of Mexican residents. Furthermore, it may affect those of a lower socioeconomic class in the sense that there is less plastic waste polluting their communities and their workplaces. However, the plastic bag ban seems to not have the best intention in both the economic and the social equity sense for sustainable development. It is likely to benefit the federal government and ranking officials more than urban residents.
Chicago’s West and South sides are notorious for the vast food deserts that impact the well-being of local residents. Adding community gardens to underserved neighborhoods would not only help alleviate the existing fresh food disparity in low-income areas, but would also encourage residents to interact with one another. The substantial amount of vacant lots and foreclosed homes are an eyesore to these neighborhoods, and by getting volunteers from non-profits, schools, and local residents to help cultivate the community gardens would have a great impact on revitalizing these areas.
Being able to grow fresh foods locally, as well as distributing them to them to residents for little to no price would promote healthy habits for impoverished families, who often opt for processed food alternatives. With 60% of supermarkets being on the Northside of the city, low-income Chicagoans are more reliant on smaller corner stores who do not sell as much fresh food as major chains. On that note, there needs to be a larger incentive to extend the number of community gardens around the city of Chicago.
Spreading awareness of the importance of eco-sustainability is crucial, especially in modern-day American society. Having fast and easy access to a carbon footprint tracker would be a great way to encourage UIC students to keep track of their efforts to maintain a sustainable lifestyle. Adding a carbon footprint tracker to the UIC Blackboard page would not only allow students and faculty to compare their Semester footprints, but also show a graph of the activities that generate the highest amount of CO2 for each person. In order to successfully accomplish this CO2 tracker, there would need to be a team of dedicated UIC students and faculty working to maintain it. Help from people who are specifically interested in technology and/or recognize the importance of sustainability would be preferred to develop the project.
Preliminary Budget: $10,000