“Please…just as my usual”

“We need to double the amount we are producing now to stay in business…”

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How can we ensure consumption that is sustainable for the next so many years and patterns of pro­duction if things keep on going this way?

By the current events of affairs, more people globally are expected to join the middle class over the next two decades.

This is good, you know, for individual prosperity but it will increase demand for already constrained natural resources.

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If we don’t act to change our consumption and patterns of pro­duction, we will cause irreversible dam­age to our environment!

One might ask if there are any current trends of consumption and production that need to change…

Certainly, there are so many that need to change like soooo yesterday!

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For example, each year about one third of all the food produced in the world — equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes worth around $1 trillion — ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices, something that busi­nesses need to address. I hope you know how much is in a ton, eeh

Food waste from Cedar Rapids and Marion Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores will be worked into yard waste and composted at the Solid Waste Agency’s compost site at the Site 1 landfill on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/SourceMedia Group News)

When it comes to us consumers, our households consume 29% of the entire global energy and con­tribute to 21% of the resultant emissions of carbon dioxide.

However, if people, all over the world, switched to energy efficient light-bulbs, the world would save United States $120 billion annually. Don’t take my word for it….this is according to the mathematicians…

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Water pollution is also a press­ing issue that needs a sustainable solution.

We are polluting water faster than nature can recycle and purify water in rivers and lakes!

This photo taken on June 13, 2011 shows a Chinese boy swimming in the polluted sea by the rubbish-strewn beach along the sea coast in Anquan village, south China’s Hainan province. China suffers from widespread water pollution after years of unbridled economic growth. According to government data, more than 200 million Chinese currently do not have access to safe drinking water. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Are you a business? Here’s how you can help to mitigate the damage….

It’s in businesses’ interest to find new solutions that enable sustainable con­sumption and patterns of production.

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A better under­standing of the environmen­tal and social impacts of products and services is needed, both of the life-cycles of products and how these are affected by use within lifestyles.

Identifying the “hot spots” within the chain of value where interven­tions have the greatest potential to improve the environmental and social impact of the system as a whole is a crucial first step.

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Businesses can also use their innovative power to design solutions that can both enable and inspire individuals to lead more sustainable life­styles, reducing impacts and improving well-being.

As a consumer;

There are two main ways to help:

1. Reducing your waste.

2. Being thoughtful about what you buy and choosing an option that is sustainable whenever possible.

Reducing our waste can be done in many ways, from ensuring you don’t throw away food to reducing your consumption of plastic — one of the main pollutants of the ocean.

Carrying a reusable bag, refusing to use plastic straws, and recycling plastic bottles are good ways to do your part every day.

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Making informed purchases about what we’re buying also helps.

For example, for a while now, the textile industry today is the second largest polluter of clean water after agriculture, and many fashion companies exploit textile workers in the developing world.

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If you can buy from sustain­able and local sources you can make a difference as well as exercising pressure on businesses to adopt sustainable practices.

I feel lucky already!