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What Is Eco-Sustainability & How You Can Help!

What Is Eco-Sustainability & How You Can Help!

Eco-Sustainability is the development of our ecosystems to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is a holistic approach to managing ourselves at many levels.  Eco-sustainability focuses on our natural resources and how we properly manage ourselves in a manner that we don’t overextend the capacity of our eco-systems. When resources are consumed faster than they are produced or renewed, the resource is depleted and eventually used up. In a sustainable world, society's demand on nature is in balance with nature's capacity to meet that demand.  

Nature has quantifiable limits and although we cannot necessarily see all the changes happening in the natural world minute by minute; they are occurring at an alarming rate. The systems that make up the earth are reaching their quantifiable limits. Nature sustains our world and we must take care of it.

Habitat Loss - Habitat loss across the globe is to blame for all of our Earths species that are either in decline, endangered or now extinct. Every type of habitat destruction results in a loss of species. Habitat destruction occurs when natural habitats are no longer able to support the species present, resulting in the displacement or destruction of its biodiversity. The primary individual cause of loss of habitat is the clearing of land for agriculture.

Glaciers- When Glacier National Park was created in 1910, it was home to an estimated 150 glaciers. Since then the number has decreased to fewer than 30, and most of those remaining have shrunk in area by two-thirds. The glaciers on Mount Rainer have lost approximately 18 percent of their volume since being recorded in 1970.

Oceans- our oceans are being heavily impacted by waves of plastic and microplastics. Microplastics in different forms are present in almost all water systems in the world, be they streams, rivers, lakes, or oceans. Each year, about 1 million tons of tiny plastic fibers are released into wastewater. Microfibers from synthetic fibers have been shown to make up the majority of human material found along the world's shorelines, accounting for up to as much as 85% of the total. Plastic waste and large debris ends up in our oceans and breaks down over time and becomes microplastics. Sea turtles, whales, dolphins and other large species of marine life are ingesting these plastics at an alarming rate. Freshly hatched fish at the larval stage are choosing plastic over real food because its presence is overpowering the available food sources causing them to perish quickly.

Deforestation- Unsustainable palm oil production and deforestation go hand in hand. To build palm oil plantations, producers clear trees in tropical rainforests, destroying the biodiverse regions. Deforestation is a significant contributor to climate change; when the forests are lost, carbon is released into the atmosphere, causing global warming. Unsustainable palm oil production is rapidly expanding, crushing whole tropical rainforests that serve as critical habitats for many endangered species including Asian rhinos, elephants, tigers and orangutan and impacting the communities that depend on the forest. Human consumption of unsustainable palm oil is to blame for this degradation.

We have options and the ability to implement changes in our eco-system by changing our behavior. If we wait for others it will be too late and so it is up to us individually to make these changes. Through the implementation of personal sustainability, we can encourage others to do the same.  Leading by example is a powerful tool and can be done every day.

 

The following simple tips can have a great impact on our sustainability if we all do our part:

  1. Choose walking and biking over driving-  Bike riding uses minimal fossil fuels and is a pollution-free mode of transportation. Bikes reduce the need to build, service and dispose of cars. Cycling 6.2 miles each way to work would save 1.5 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Walking plays an important role in improving our quality of life because it helps protect and improve the living environment and natural resources. Improving the environment, in turn, brings added health benefits that come from cleaner air, less traffic noise and fewer road accidents. Walking is highly efficient in its use of urban space and energy

 

2. Bring your own Straw - Traditional plastic straws are one-time-use, and cannot be recycled, so they wind up in landfills and our oceans as little micro-particles. This is when our fish end up eating them and we end up eating the fish with plastic. By the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish if our habits don't change! While one individual straw doesn’t create an environmental disaster, it’s the scale that creates an issue - in the United States alone, over 500 million disposable plastic straws are used and thrown away every year.

 

3. Bring your own bag - Using your own bags means that more plastic bags won’t end up in a landfill or other places where wildlife can become entangled in them or eat them. Plastic bags are non-biodegradable, use crude oil and natural gas to manufacture, and require even more fossil fuels to ship. By using a reusable bag, you are not only reducing the amount of non-renewable resources necessary to produce plastic bags, but you’re also reducing the amount of money your community spends on clean up costs each year.

 

4. Shop eco-friendly products-  Shop for products that are repurposed, reused, recycled and sustainable. You’ll help save our earth from needing more landfill space.
 
5. Protect Wildlife - Help protect our wildlife by volunteering & supporting organizations that protect their habitat and make sure the food you eat uses sustainable palm oil or another type of oil that isn’t destroying our rain forests.

 

6. Get involved - Lending a helping hand and being involved in environmental causes now will have long term positive effects on our planet. You can help our planet now and for future generations.

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Tara Dodson is the creator of the Living Full Circle Blog and will be our guest blogger each month for Mindful Mondays where she hopes to inspire us to make sustainable choices in our daily lives while at home, traveling, and in the workplace.

She is the mother of three, has an endearing partner, and has traveled internationally since she was a child. She enjoys spending time with her family outside whether it is in the garden, biking to the beach, hiking, or doing a beach cleanup. She serves her local community by working for public service by day, provides sustainability consulting to businesses and organizations on the side with her business, Full Circle Resource Management, LLC, and as co-founder of Keepers of the Coast, she creates coastal educational and sustainability programs. 

As a recent graduate from Southern New Hampshire University with an MBA in Sustainability, her background is embedded in conservation, sustainability, and traveling.  With over 15 years of experience, she hopes that you will join her on this journey of inspiration.

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With each purchase through Give Back Goods you are supporting important causes like clean water, prevention of human trafficking, environmental causes, animal causes and much more. You also support poverty-stricken communities throughout the world through Fair Trade wages & practices. Give Back Goods goal is to give 10% of their profits each year to their partner organizations. With your support, they hope to be able to accomplish this in their second year of business.  Another very special part of Give Back Goods is that when you make a purchase you are literally participating in a sustainable approach to decreasing our impacts to our natural resources like overused land for landfill space, impacts to our forests and pollution of our oceans. 

We appreciate your support in helping us GIVE BACK!

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