Unsustainable Practices

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What unsustainable practices do you perform every day? Not turning off ignition at signals, not carpooling or using public transport, not recycling or upcycling, and overuse of water.

Everyday Unsustainable Practices

Studies have shown that a car idling at a light emits around 2x the amount of harmful gasses as a moving vehicle. In addition, for every 15 seconds that you turn the car off at a light, you save 5 seconds of fuel, and 30 seconds of fuel at a 40 second light. Many newer car models automatically turn of the ignition at stops, conserving fuel and helping the environment.

Although less convenient, carpooling with 3 other people saves 4000 kilograms of carbon monoxide from entering the atmosphere. And to make it even better, carpooling 9 miles to work every day can save you nearly 300 dollars a year.

Veganism is becoming more popular in modern society, and for good reason! Animal agriculture is the cause for over 90% of destruction in the Amazon rainforest. For every 1 kg of fish caught, around 5 kg are discarded. Vegans also contribute around 50% less carbon dioxide and use 1/13th less water for their food each year. Every day, vegans save more than 4 thousand liters of water, enough to provide clean water to nearly 4 thousand people who need it.

In addition, we all waste water way more than we should. For every minute that you leave water on while brushing out teeth, we waste around 6 liters of water. That means that when we brush our teeth twice a day and leave the water running, we are wasting enough water to give to two people who need it.

Agriculture Unsustainable Practices

In agriculture specifically, there are 5 main causes of unsustainable practices that lead to environmental harm. The first cause is policy failure. Policy failure can lead to overexploitation of land or inappropriate usage of fertilizers/pesticides. The next root problem that leads to unsustainable practices are rural inequalities. What this means is that although rural farmers often know how to sustainably farm resources and crops, they sometimes have to resort to less sustainable practices to make a living and stay above ground. On the other hand, commercial farmers resort to less sustainable practices merely to make more of a profit.

The next root cause of unsustainable practices is the imbalance of resources, particularly in developing countries. As time goes on, the population in developing countries will grow. The countries with lackluster economies and governmental support systems. These poorer developing countries will see an increase in population that will lead to unsustainable practices being implemented to support the growing population.

The fourth cause of unsustainable practices is new technology. These technologies include pesticides, irrigation and more. With the increased use of pesticides on crops, insects are becoming resistant to them, making it more difficult to control them. The final cause of unsustainable practices is trade relations. As export to foreign countries lessen, governments have turned to exploiting more land and timber to account for the lack of foreign money coming into the economy.

There are ways to decrease the impact of unsustainable practices in agriculture. These include stricter legislation and policies on pesticides/fertilizers and overexploitation of land, enforcing laws more seriously, and more significant consequences for people who practice unsustainable practices.

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