By: Eric Guo
I want to start off by asking a simple question: what kind of world would you like to leave for your descendents? Is it one full of clean air and clean water, or is it one full of polluted air and water? As you ask yourself this question, keep in mind that you’re ultimately thinking about sustainability.
Sustainability, in short, is about the world we leave for our descendents.
The United Nations has developed a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals that they hope to achieve by the year 2030. Now, the set of goals listed by the United Nations are on a very large scale, but as individuals, we cannot only depend on the laws and regulations set by international organizations and our own federal governments. We need to actively live a sustainable life. Here are some tips to living sustainably:
- The first step in living a sustainable life is to reduce energy usage. We only have a finite amount of usable energy in this world, so we need to make sure that we don’t waste all the energy we currently have. Some easy ways to reduce energy usage on a day to day basis are to turn off lights when you leave the room, turn off your computer when you’re not using it, and use more sustainable energy. Reducing energy usage is a win-win situation for both you and the environment. You’re protecting the environment while also reducing some of your electricity cost.
- The next step in living a sustainable life is to save water. We all know that water is a precious, finite resource, and if we use up all of the water we have now, we won’t have any more in the future. Saving water starts with small steps. For example, if you’re notorious for taking long, 20-minute showers, start cutting that down bit by bit until you get to the point where none of the water is being wasted.
- The final step is to start reducing waste. We produce a tremendous amount of waste as a species, and at this rate, the earth will become a giant pile of trash in a hundred years or so. Reducing waste means using less disposables, such as plastic bags and utensils, and using more reusables.
One of the key themes of environmental protection is the idea that protecting the environment starts from each and every one of us. If there’s one thing that you take away from today’s conference, it is that you can’t simply know how to protect the environment; you have to actively protect the environment. Creating a sustainable future starts from ourselves.