The world we currently inhabit is not sustainable. Our recycling efforts though far improved from years before, are not enough. Non-governmental organizations, government at the local, state and federal level need to step up and heavily encourage recycling and better sustainability projects. An old professor of mine stated, he was prohibited from catching the runoff rain from his gutters. Him and other like-minded citizens succeeded in getting the local regulation overturned.
Plastic bags are everywhere and though few cities and one state, California, has banned them, here in the Midwest they are still widespread. On a few occasions, I can see plastic bags dangling from trees of roaming across the plains like a tumbleweed. California in 2016 handed out 13 billion single use plastic bags – the national average is 100 billion. More information: www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/expect_more_bag_less/facts.html.
Plastic bags are not recycled or widely reused. I will admit to using plastic bags for my groceries, which then are used to store my lunch. After my lunch is consumed, the plastic is put into our recycling bins at work. Plastic is not the only thing we are terrible at, batteries, electronics, furniture, food. A lot of food is thrown out because people believe it is bad after a subjective “sell by or best by” date. There are quite a few people I know who are not a fan of leftovers, though the it helps with keeping the food budget low and reducing food waste.
Being sustainable and environmentally friendly is a worthy endeavor because there is no other planet we can flee to. There is no reset button or imaginary figure who will wisp us away because we believe in them. In Within the Grasp of Ordinary, one of the ways sustainability is dealt with is removing ourselves from plowing acres upon acres of land for new urban sprawl, rather the cities have gone miles high rather than miles wide. Land which was once occupied by cities has been reclaimed by nature. Oil and coal do not power the future. Rather the Sky City structures which Philip, Tristan, and the rest of humanity live in are constructed with a very durable material which also acts like a solar panel.
In the present, there is much more that needs to be done. We need to set aggressive goals to get more of our energy demands met by solar, wind, and geothermal sources. We need to reduce our food wastes. We need to be better stewards of the planet we all call home. It is the only home we have now, the only home we have in the near future, and in the future, we still must maintain preserving our planet.