Changes That Individuals In The Developed World Should Undertake To Increase Environmental Sustainability

1493 words - 6 pages

Introduction:

Since the enforcement of the first environmental laws in the 19th century, the implementation of decrees to maximise environmental sustainability has increased dramatically – however the state of the environment is far from pristine. In order to preserve the environment, the responsibilities are not only targeted towards corporations and communities to undertake processes which support this cause, but it is crucial that each individual play a role in its conservation. With the right initiatives and values, there are a number of simple tasks households can undergo and incorporate within their daily routines to assist in the preservation of nature (Nováček,2013). By supporting ...view middle of the document...


These terms have a direct correlation with the following four changes that individuals can make within their lifestyle in order to maximise sustainability in the developed world. The five changes are as follows.

Supporting sustainable resources:

In order to increase sustainability, individuals should support sustainable sources by purchasing solar panels to accumulate their households’ energy.
Solar panels are easily accessible, require little maintenance, and can be expected to last 20 years or more (Solar Power, 2014). They are an effective way of producing energy whilst also being harmless to the environment. The use of solar panels within households has become increasingly popular in the last few years, with the awareness of long term benefits for both the consumers and the environment escalating. Solar panels reduce the pressures being placed on the environment as it is a renewable and sustainable source, retrieving energy from the sun rather than from the burning of harmful fossil fuels (Crabtree & Lewis, 2007). The impacts this has on the consumers are that it eventually will pay itself off and though it will initially be an out of pocket expense, many consumers find they eventually result with a profit - thus, it is both harmless and beneficial, with no known negative health impacts.
Refer to Figure A below for DPSIR framework.
Figure A:

Cutting unnecessary energy consumption:

The use of solar panels goes hand in hand with cutting down unnecessary energy consumption. In order for the environment and the consumers to reap the maximum benefits possible from the installation of solar panels, unnecessary energy consumption must be prevented.
There is a plethora of instances that can be easily avoided where individuals use energy unnecessarily and it goes unnoticed. Some common examples within the average household in the developed world are: Power switches remaining on when not being used, TV and other appliances turned on while serving no purpose, lights turned on in unoccupied rooms etc. Each individual must take appropriate measures to avoid these by using energy responsibly by making sure power switches remain off when serving no purpose, or by using a smart power board, another smarter home habit is the use of low energy light bulbs and other energy efficient appliances. (Getting Started - Energy, 2014) By avoiding the use of unnecessary energy consumption, the individual is supporting sustainable measures and cutting down the cost of their energy bill.
Refer to figure B below for DPSIR framework.
Figure B:

Reduce, reuse, recycle:

In addition to the use of solar panels or other sustainable sources and cutting down on unnecessary energy consumption, another approach in order to maximise sustainability within the developed world is the process of reducing, reusing and recycling. This is a broad and simple task that every household can take on board. A basic example that still has enormous benefits on the environment is...

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