Environmental issues are hard topics to ignore nowadays. Socially, we’re all aware of the impact we are having on our planet through mass consumption, pollution, and the uncontrolled wasting of our natural resources. Politically, we are constantly reminded of the industrial weight our carbon emissions are having on the planet, especially given the price that has been placed on these emissions in the form of carbon taxes and trading schemes.
The media pushes these issues to a point of information overload, leading us to maybe ignore any carbon-related messaging and to move on with our daily habits.
Even though we’ve had enough of listening to the blame-game pointing fingers at over-population and over-consumption, those of us with a conscience have understood a long time ago that our planet’s resources are indeed finite, and our irresponsible behavior is contributing to the destruction of the same planetary organs which are keeping us alive.
Originating in 1970, Earth Day organizers floored their momentum from the massive following behind anti-war movements, and focused public attention on the negative impact that western culture was having on the planet. An American senator at the time, Gaylord Nelson was deeply affected by a California oil spill and its destructive consequences on the environment. Senator Nelson realized that hope for a real solution lied in the energy of America’s youth to carve environmental issues into the current political agenda — an ambition which brings us to our generation, and our celebration of Earth Day on this coming April 22nd.
Although our consumption is fueled by cultural needs and habits, methods exist to curb the damage by basing our wasteful routines on a more sensible approach.
OUR KIDS, OUR FUTURE, THEY SPEAK OUT
A few alarming facts
- In 2010, the United States consumed 8 billion pounds of copy paper. That’s 1.6 billion reams, or 800 billion sheets of paper.
- To manufacture 10 pounds of paper, 7.7 pounds of carbon dioxide is pumped into the environment — that’s 6.2 billion pounds of CO2 in one year.
- 2000 pounds of virgin-pulp (non-recycled) paper costs 380 gallons of oil, 4000Kw of energy, 7000 gallons of water, and 17 trees.
- 17 trees can absorb up to 250 lbs of harmful Co2 per year.
Talk about repercussions!