The Importance of Environmental Sustainability

Abstract icon representing the ecological call to recycle and reuse in the form of a pond with a recycling symbol_

As we continue to waste earth’s natural resources, scientists agree that we’re reaching an irreversible point of environmental damage. We all have a responsibility to work towards environmental sustainability.

What Is Sustainability?

The United Nations defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Sustainable practices encompass a huge range of activities. Examples of these practices include:

  • Avoiding use of disposable items
  • Limiting consumption of animal products
  • Switching to renewable energy
  • Buying long-lasting products

This only covers a very small portion of sustainable behaviors. Sustainable behavior is any activity that provides environmental protection for future generations. This could involve limiting carbon emissions, stopping use of fossil fuels, or simply recycling products.

Why Is Environmental Sustainability Important?

As mentioned earlier, leading scientists believe that we’re approaching an environmental tipping point. There’s no shortage of consequences we’ll face if we don’t practice environmental sustainability:

Rising Sea Levels

Sea levels have already risen eight inches since we began tracking it. Scientists believe that these levels will continue to rise another 1 to 8 feet by 2100. This change comes from carbon emissions that heat our atmosphere and melt ice.

Small sea level changes have big impacts. Rising levels could cause catastrophic flooding and combine with sinking land, high tides, and storm surges to put coastal cities at tremendous risk. This tracker is a useful resource that can help you measure our current sea level.

Prolonged Droughts

We’re already starting to deal with droughts in the American Southwest. If greenhouse gas emissions keep up, droughts that typically happen once every 20 years are going to occur on an annual basis.

The American Southwest and Central Plains regions are expected to face intense droughts in the second half of the 21st century. These droughts will put an intense strain on our economic development, impact the quality of life, and can even lead to death.

Intense Heat Waves

Some parts of the world have already started to face unliveable heat. India has faced a deadly heat wave throughout the summer of 2022 that led to 90,000 deaths—and that number is expected to rise every year. This heat has made some regions of the country completely unlivable, with Indian citizens leaving their homes to escape the heat.

Heatwaves can lead to overloaded electricity grids and shut-down power plants. Regions in India facing the heatwave have dealt with significantly lower energy security. India’s crisis could become a global reality if action isn’t taken towards environmental sustainability.

Food Scarcity

Heat waves can cause agricultural stress that leads to food scarcity. Environmental changes that can impact agriculture include heat waves, lack of water, disease, and severe weather.

Extreme heat can be hazardous for farm workers. Heat stress can cause exhaustion, heatstroke, and even heart attacks. This danger extends to the livestock that we rely on for food as well.

Damaged Infrastructure

Climate change can damage physical infrastructure like bridges, roads, ports, electrical grids, and broadband internet. 40% of the United States population lives in coastal counties. Everyone in these regions is subject to extreme weather conditions that can directly damage their infrastructure. People outside of this region have to be careful too—a huge portion of our economy relies on those coastal areas.

Top view of a young green forest in spring or summer

How Recycling Materials Can Lead To an Environmentally Sustainable Society

If we take action now, there’s a chance we can avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This can only be done by following environmentally sustainable practices. Everyone needs to work together to create an environmentally sustainable society. Businesses have a social responsibility to follow sustainable practices, and individuals have a responsibility to support those businesses.

A simple step that businesses can take towards sustainability is extending the lifetime of their equipment. This can be done by laundering or “recycling” their goods. Equipment that is frequently recycled includes:

  • Gloves
  • Sleeves
  • Aprons
  • Jackets
  • Safety Vests

Choosing to recycle these items is environmentally sustainable and saves your business money. PPE recycling leads to an environmentally sustainable society by:

Stopping the Manufacturing of New Items

Recycling is environmentally sustainable because it reduces waste by extending the service life of your current equipment. This uses much fewer resources than building entirely new products. A huge amount of material is wasted on replacing products that are in perfectly good condition.

Extending the Service Life of Old Materials

Recycling is environmentally sustainable because it reduces waste by extending the service life of your current equipment. This uses much fewer resources than building entirely new products. A huge amount of material is wasted on replacing products that are in perfectly good condition.

Reducing Landfill Use

There’s an enormous logistical process involved in dumping waste. Every product that gets thrown out has to be transported and thrown away somewhere, whether that’s a landfill or the ocean. The process of transporting trash to these dump zones takes a considerable amount of energy. Reusing the same product keeps you from throwing perfectly good products into a landfill or the ocean.

Partner With Closed Loop Recycling for a More Environmentally Sustainable Society

Protect future generations by supporting a sustainable society with Closed Loop Recycling. We offer sustainable services that can save your business money and protect our environment. Outside of recycling services, we also offer reusable absorbent mats, towels, and rags that reduce liquid waste. Contact us today.