Facts about Sustainability to Motivate You into Action

The last song of Kaua’i ‘o‘o is a recording of the last ‘o‘o male bird calling for a female that would never arrive and then the bird died in 1987 marking the extinction of his species.

Facts are supposed to be interesting and funny, but sustainability facts are kind of different. They’re educational, shocking, and sometimes really sad like the ‘o‘o bird story. Most of all, they motivate to shake up the status quo. One can start with simple actions like the one below.

Switching from the font ‘Arial’ to ‘Century Gothic’ saves 30% ink on printing.

This may not be the most important sustainability fact but now that you know it hopefully you’re going to use it to make your printer ink last longer. Simple facts like the one above help save money and reduce the environmental impacts of the processes that everyday objects go through from manufacturing to recycling if that’s an option. Thus, if you use the printer regularly, you can find a better font option for your content such as Century Gothic font, Times New Roman, Calibri, or Ecofont to save ink and money.

Moreover, the writing and printing of an A4 paper sheet have a water footprint that varies between 2 and 13 liters of water. Read further below about water footprint facts.

Energy facts
When doing laundry, about a 90percent of the energy used during a washing machine’s cleaning cycle goes into heating the water. If possible use the cold water cycle.

In an incandescent light bulb, only 10percent of the electricity used is turned into light. The other 90 percent is wasted as heat. By switching to Led you will save up to 90 percent in lighting energy.

Shiny metals fact

There is up to 10 times more gold concentration in a ton of old smartphones and e-waste than in a ton of gold ore.
Some businesses are seeing a good opportunity to recover gold and other precious metals from e-waste.

Water footprint and thirsty industries

There is a lot of hidden water in ordinary consumer goods. Our water footprint is not only about the water we use at home or work. It is also about the invisible water that goes into the production (blue or green water footprint), and treatment of the wastewater (greywater footprint) generated during the manufacturing of everyday products such as food, apparel, tech gadgets, pharmaceuticals, etc.
Almost every item or tool we use consumes water during its production steps. According to the Water Watch publication by the CDP, an environmental reporting company, apparel and textile manufacturing, livestock farming, cotton farming, oil and gas extraction and mining, food farming and processing, electronic component manufacturing, biotech and pharma, and even financial services are the sectors with the highest impact on world’s water resources.

What’s the water footprint of everyday items?

About 170 liters of water are needed to make one kg of plastic. It takes at least twice the amount of water contained in a plastic bottle to produce the plastic bottle.

It takes around 2,500 liters of water to make a single cotton t-shirt and about 10,000 of water to make a pair of jeans. These figures include the water that goes to cotton farming and manufacturing processes. However, it does not include the water that will be used to wash those garments.

When plastic gets coupled with textile and the fast fashion industry, the environmental impact increases.
“Polyester fibers make nearly three-quarters of microplastic pollution in the Arctic and probably come from textile manufacturing and household laundry,” says the New Scientists.

What about food? Research has shown that it takes at least 20 times more freshwater to produce animal products than plant products of the same weight. Especially meat, dairy, and eggs require a lot of water. How much water is in 1 kilo of beef? According to this research linked by FAO, it takes 15.400 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of boneless beef.

Biodiversity and conservation

Indigenous peoples make up approximately a 22percent of the world’s land surface and are estimated to hold 80percent of the planet’s biodiversity.

If tropical deforestation were a country, according to the World Resources Institute, it would rank third in carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions, behind China and the U.S.

About 25 percent of species of plants and animals around the world are vulnerable to extinction.

Here we go back to the ‘o‘o bird. Its sad story can raise awareness of the impact of human activity on the environment and nature and on the need to stop and reverse the damage. Everyone can take action. Entrepreneurial education and skills can help build the mindset and come up with an innovative solution in the most different contexts.

This is just a short list of facts. The goal is to make you add facts about what is happing in your community or area. Then you can think about solutions that can turn into sustainable business concepts. We invite you to submit such solutions as ideas or projects to the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition 2022.

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1 Comment

  1. amazing story for Brighter world

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