There’s a lot of negativity when it comes to environmental predictions on a global basis – we are flooded with plastics or other waste, we contribute to deforestation by consuming unsustainable palm oil and we pollute the air with fossil-fuelled cars. To make matters worse, we tend to think it’s simply inevitable.
While development in any aspect of life involves producing waste, we can still minimise the environmental impact. Saying that one’s everyday choices doesn’t make a scrap of difference is a lame excuse. Through joint efforts we are capable of creating a clean, green future for the generations to come.
Let’s take a closer look at transportation, use of energy, plastic, waste, recycling and palm oil use (especially in the automotive) and see what the current facts and future prospects are. However, the point is not to stop there – based on the data collected, there’s the optimistic scenario in which we all live in a cleaner environment. With all the new technological advancements, we have plenty of eco-friendly solutions available so we should be more and more committed to living sustainably. Let’s do it together!
Transportation and the car industry
Environmental awareness is growing among drivers, which directly affects consumer choices and behaviours. Eco-driving is a driving style adopted by many as standard practice to reduce fuel consumptionand tyre wear. Car sharing is already a popular alternative to owning a car and, despite certain risks it may entail, it’s generally considered a green and economical way of moving around.
As far as car buyers’ choices are concerned, motorists are more willing to go electric. With a diesel ban coming soon and EV batteries getting cheaper and more efficient, it looks even more tempting. Exemption from VAT and annual road tax or free municipal parking for EVs give other good reasons to drive an electric car.
Incentives aside, turing to electric vehicles may easily boost the economy as new jobs would be created in the green energy sector. Also, once EVs rely on locally produced renewable energy providers, a lot of money currently spent on fuel imports could be saved.
The future of transportation seems all about saving – saving time, costs and energy. Building smart roads for a greener driving experience is only one of the many improvements we can see today. Other ideas include fully integrated driverless technologies or widespread use of alternative fuels in transportation.
Energy and renewables
Numerous issues related to traditional energy – from the scarcity of resources to abusive mining – clearly show that using oil, gas and coal isn’t a long-term option. Apart from the limited availability, fossil fuels are harmful to the environment and unsustainable in production.
Local clean energy producers show that the switch to sustainable energy sources is really doable. We might not be able to stop the large fossil fuel concerns overnight but if the independent startups grow, they are likely to trigger a change.
Using forces of nature or household waste to produce renewable power at home is also becoming easier and easier. Thanks to the assisted packages households can install cheaper and more efficient solar panels.
Palm oil consumption
The omnipresent oil whose production causes massive deforestation and consequent environment and social issues finally comes under scrutiny from buyers. With growing knowledge about its disastrous effects on most important ecosystems of the planet, consumers choose products that don’t contain unsustainable palm oil.
While in a supermarket it’s enough to read labels, it gets more tricky when it comes to… filling up your car with palm oil. Half of all the palm oil imported to Europe now ends up in biodiesel tanks. Since this is not how the problem of harmful diesel fumes should be tackled, drivers everywhere tell European councillors to stop subsiding palm oil diesel. Each of us can take action and say that palm oil is “not in my tank.”
Plastic, waste and tyre recycling
Once we realise how bad plastic is, we are willing to make changes in our homes. Reducing the use of plastic is relatively easy to apply in daily life as it doesn’t require big investments like installing solar panels or wind turbines.
Fortunately, we’re getting used to carrying our own material shopping bags and drinking water from reusable bottles. When it comes to shopping, there are ethical manufacturers of almost all kinds of products available on the market. Eco packaging is trending as well as re-styling and giving new life to used things.
As a great way to recycle, DIY projects are sustainable, creative and fun. Imagination is the only limit in finding new ways of using daily objects, from growing forest in a burnt bulb to setting up a playground out of used car tyres.
Above all, it’s essential to keep our environment clean and dispose of garbage legally, especially if you need to get rid of old tyres, car parts, electronics, medical waste, etc. You can easily find recycling or collection services nationwide.
Towards a greener future
By taking small, seemingly trivial steps, each and every one of us can contribute to protecting the environment tremendously. With local initiatives such as the “trash challenge” or beach clean-up projects, everyone can do something meaningful. The road to a greener environment starts at our door.
Guest Article written by – Giles Kirkland