Pollution, plastic waste, and global warming are all hot topics in today’s world. While some industries and businesses can have negative impacts, there are also many businesses working hard to leave a positive impact. From utilizing green energy and living, promoting waste reduction, and participating in carbon reduction programs, businesses can help lead the way in keeping our planet clean.
Reducing Waste Production
Landfill waste requires tons of carbon to transport, huge tracts of land for storage, and produces large amounts of methane. Methane is even more potent a climate accelerator than carbon dioxide. However, new methods are emerging that may help the waste industry reverse the problem and even reduce carbon in the atmosphere through composting. Even more important are practices of waste reduction, which eliminate the waste before it even meets the dumpster. Office and business recycling programs, waste analysis programs, and taking zero waste initiatives are all ways that businesses are stepping up to the plate.
Supporting Carbon Offset Programs
The airline industry, along with the waste industry, has also seen the need to start managing their environmental impact. While more efficient airplanes, engines, and fuels can help, some airlines, like Delta, have also started carbon offset programs. Carbon offset certificates provide funding for programs that lower carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. Delta’s program, for example, donates money to The Nature Conservancy, a group which protects and manages forestland across the United States, Chile, Belize, and other nations, keeping the forests from being torn down for agriculture or other use, and allowing them to continue soaking carbon.
Reducing Plastic Use
Climate change is a big environmental driver, but it is not the only one. The plastics industry has come under increasing scrutiny as plastic waste has become more prevalent. From restaurant drinking straws and packaging, grocery store bags, and more, plastics have been increasingly diverted to landfills or even directly into the environment, especially the oceans. Many businesses have heeded the call for change though and are spearheading efforts to reduce plastic consumption and waste in their industries.
While environmental news often trends toward grim tales of the future, we can all do our part in helping turn things around. From encouraging businesses and giving patronage to those who take positive steps, to highlighting environmental research and programs, to examining our personal environmental impact, we can all leave the world a better place.
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