What is your contribution to environmental sustainability?

As a youth do you know your contribution to environmental sustainability? If your answer is no, you can determine your contribution to environmental sustainability by calculating your carbon footprint. This link shows how your lifestyle impacts environmental sustainability.

Knowing your contribution to environmental sustainability is important because carbon emissions keep rising. And if we as a society keep following down the path of rising carbon emissions, we would spell our doom.

What is environmental sustainability?

Environmental sustainability simply means the ability to sustain the Earth through moderated consumption of natural resources and nurturing the environment to maintain ecological balance.

As we are today, we are not living environmentally sustainable;

  1. Sea levels have been on a rise and costal cities like Florida will be underwater by 2100;
  2. The heat waves happeing in Baltimore, Cleveland and Denver are likely to get more frequent and more intense;
  3. Before 2050, the Arctic is likely to be completely ice-free;
  4. There will be an increasing occurrence of extreme weather events;
  5. And the main cause of all these occurences is 90% human influence/activities.

No. 5 is the focal point of this article. We as a society are to blame for what the Earth is going through.

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We were almost environmentally sustainable…

Despite all the negatives of the pandemic, one positive was that the pandemic forced us to be environmentally sustainable. In 2020, the pandemic caused the highest annual drop in carbon dioxide emissions since World War 2.

Unfortunately, this year we are back to our old ways, as 2021 marked the second-biggest annual rise of carbon dioxide emissions. The solution to environmental sustainability is “us”. We the youths are the future and there is still the chance that we can change things for the better.

For more detailed explanations of how we are not environmentally sustainable check the published in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th assessment report.

You are not too small to make a difference

“She is an ordinary teenage girl who, in summoning the courage to speak truth to power, became the icon of a generation”

time magazine, 2019

Greta Thunberg is a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Time’s (2019) Person of the Year for her efforts in climate activism.

Her contribution towards environmental sustainability as a youth, started when she was 15 protesting outside the Swedish parliament for its lax response to the climate crisis.

She became a global sensation, her campaigns that started very little now has a global effect, now she inspires thousands of young people across the world to organize their own strikes against carbon emissions targets.

Greta Thunberg Thunberg started protesting on Fridays, missing out of school in the process. Now her former solo effort has transformed into Fridays for Future and now millions of people have attended global climate strikes since she began protesting.

Your voice will be heard

Greta Thunberg, who is only 18 years old, has already accomplished more in the name of climate change than many politicians. She challenged world leaders at the United Nations Climate Conference in 2019.

Her perspective as a young person is to prevent future generations from environmental mistakes caused by climate change. Climate change is the single most significant threat to youths today. Therefore, it is up to the youth to contribute to environmental sustainability.

What can you do to as a youth to contribute to environmatal sustinability

Create awareness

You can create awareness by writing a blog post, attending a climate change rally, discussing the effects of climate change on social media. By engaging your friends and family about environmental sustainability. You are using your voice as a youth, contributing to environmental sustainability.

Youth contribution to Environmental Sustainability is key we as individuals have the potential to make a difference, whether through small actions, or larger initiatives.
Image credit: UNICEF/UNI206830/Chalasani

Change your lifestyle

A lifestyle change not only supports youths contribution to environmental sustainability but also lets youths save money.

By eating less meat. Fun fact – Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and animals that are bred on farms produce methane. With the increasing demand for meat, the number of animals farmed goes up, thus leading to many more farm animals producing methane.

By driving less, buying more sustainable products and relying more on solar panels. These lifestyle changes promote environmental sustainability. And it is important to know that it doesn’t have to be a complete 100% change.

You do not have to stop eating meat completely but reducing how much you eat helps a lot. You do not have to rely on public transportation especially in Covid times, but reducing how much you drive helps a lot. Also as youths, it’s better we switch to more futuristic options like an electric car or hybrid.

A change in lifestyle as a youth is your contribution to environmental sustainability.

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By educating yourself, voting and supporting charities

Educating yourself through reading books on environmental sustainability or watching documentaries. You can even start with the IPCC reports to give yourself more detailed knowledge.

You must support candidates that support systemic changes, green energy and environmental sustainability. And if you want to contribute to environmental sustainability as a youth without supporting any specific candidates or policies, then you can donate to https://lets-fund.org/clean-energy/ – they lobby the government to support green energy.

You can also donate to charities such as Everybody Solar which helps get solar panels for non-profits like science museums and homeless shelters and the Solar Electric Light Fund helps get solar panels for developing countries in locations that don’t have electric power.

A Sustainable Future

It’s is very vital, that we develop new, cleaner technologies and adopt lifestyles that contribute to environmental sustainability. Because being environmentally sustainable not only saves billions of people, it preserves millions of years of our stay on Earth.

Even if we do the little things such as recycling, switching to electric cars and living more sustainably, it does not change the fact that t just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions.

But does that mean we should just give up hope for environmental sustainability? No. The little you can do is the lot need for others to join alongside you. Just like how Greta set out to address Sweden lax policies on green energy, but now she’s the face of climate activism.

There’s a lot you can do, and you don’t have to try and move mountains on your own, instead join the collective voices and your voice would be heard.

The world is changing, even governments are taking action to implement green energy practices. Continue to be part of that change.

Tags: Environmental sustainability, Youth Development, Youth's Contribution to Environmental Sustainability,

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