But these problems are incredibly easy to overlook (which represents yet another problem). Only very occasionally do we ever confront telltale signs of the impending global environmental crisis:
- Perhaps we experience an unusually warm winter
- Sporadic smoggy days here and there
- Maybe gas prices go crazy a couple times a year
But in isolation, these minor symptoms rarely create the urgency that they should. After a moment’s pause, it’s back to business as usual.
Part of this delusion stems from how modern society is mapped out. The food we grow, the energy we create, and the waste we discard are largely hidden from view. We operate within a narrow sphere, believing that ours is a world of infinite abundance.
- We’re all familiar with electricity bills. But how often do we reflect on the destructive actions used to extract ancient fossil fuel resources to power our communities?
- We’ve all been to supermarkets and marveled at the selection and beauty of produce displays. But do we ever consider the toxic and irresponsible practices used to create rows of identical, “healthy looking” fruits and vegetables – many of which aren’t even in season?
- We’re all thankful that trash pick-up is on regular days of the week. But where does all of the waste go? And what happens to it tomorrow? Next month? Next year?
The Facts vs. Reality
We’ve been led to believe that Mother Earth is home to a never-ending supply of inexhaustible, cheap resources just waiting to be mined, used, and discarded. It’s always been like this – and it will always be like this.
A beautiful theory. We wish it were true. But the facts simply don’t back up this version of reality. Here are some numbers worth considering:
- Every year, Americans throw an average of 34 million tons of food away, only 3% of which is ever recycled.
- The food that Americans “waste” is enough to feed every malnourished person on the planet.
- The water used to irrigate this wasted food could satisfy the daily domestic needs of 9 billion people.
- Worldwide, roughly 1/3 of all the food cultivated for human consumption goes to waste.
- Non-recycled food waste is one of the primary contributors of methane – a greenhouse gas that is 21-25 times more harmful than CO2.
- The fossil fuel-based fertilizers used to cultivate food releases nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more harmful than CO2.
Our current consumption habits and waste management practices continue to push every known ecosystem into crisis. Nothing about the current system is sustainable. And thus, nothing about the current system is worth keeping.
Infinite Consumption on a Finite Planet – a Sustainable Formula?
At Re-Nuble, we believe that it is possible to have infinite consumption in a finite world. Done correctly, we can still enjoy the comforts we love and the lifestyles we cherish without ever hitting resource limits.
- It’s possible to grow delicious, healthy food without leaving a legacy of destruction
- It’s possible to dispose of waste responsibly without releasing harmful toxins into the atmosphere
- It’s even possible to harness new forms of energy that don’t rely on deforestation, extraction, and pollution
We don’t simply believe these things are possible. We know they’re possible because we’re already doing it.
Learn more about our Green Back Approach™.