Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Bio Earth: A Comprehensive Solution to Climate Change
Explain your idea in details:
Global warming and climate change are a reality we must live with. Man has been mercilessly felling forest trees to feed the ever-hungry need for building infrastructures and expanding the limits of cities and human dwelling to areas once covered with forests. One major effect of this human induced climate change is the ever-shrinking reserve of drinking water available for sustenance of all life on earth. Recently, we heard about drying up of drinking water reservoirs that feed the city of Chennai, India, putting the lives of 6 million people in danger. To start reversing the effects of deforestation induced climate change, I propose that every living person on this planet plant 2 plant or tree seeds and be responsible to ensure these seeds grow into mature trees and are cared for their whole life. Assuming the planet has about 7.5 billion people, we could overnight have seeds planted for 15 billion trees. Rainwater harvesting should be mandated globally. This is fairly easy to implement and should be enforced to ensure we utilize every drop of natures gift to us. The harvested rainwater could be used for our everyday use like cooking, watering plants, trees and also for drinking after it is filtered. Most countries have some perennial source of water. This could be in the form of spring-fed freshwater lakes, rivers or glacial lakes. If these water sources could be connected to different corners of the country with a crisscrossing network of canals, that could help feed the people in all parts of the country. We can cover them with solar panels to prevent evaporation. This would help generate electricity that would help reduce our dependence on fossil fuel fired power plants.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Every idea that I am proposing can be implemented if we apply our collective efforts. This would only help slow down the irreversible effects of climate change that has already been initiated. There is a good possibility that if we work on this aggressively in the next few years on a global footing, we might be able to reverse the climate change and restore the earth back to its glories that we inherited. The ideas proposed here are in conceptual stage. The planting of seeds to grow trees by individuals who would be responsible for nurturing these trees till they become mature can be easily implemented in local communities. I plan to visit schools in my community this fall and distribute seeds to students, donated by the local arboretum and nurseries. The crisscrossing of canals to transport water already exists on small scales in several regions of the world. This needs to be expanded to cover the entire expanse of human settlements. Installation of solar panels on these canals on on home rooftops can be initiated with government and NGO help. With the recent advancements in efficiency of the photovoltaic cells used in these solar panels and reduction in cost, the return in investment for several households is less than 5 years. This along with government subsidies could help power our homes and vehicles and reduce our dependence on pollution causing power plants.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
The ideas proposed here if implemented could drastically slow down and eventually reverse the effects of global warming and climate change and provide us with the most basic needs for human survivability, namely clean water and air. The solutions provided are very practical to implement and have been implemented to some extent in small pockets all around the world. What we need now is a global collective effort which can be streamlined so more people can benefit. These ideas need to be implemented within the next few years. At the current rate at which we are depleting our natural resources, we should not be surprised if the next world war is fought between countries to occupy regions that still have clean drinking water available. We want to avoid this by all means and the only way is with a global effort for our future sustenance.
My name is Mythili Iyer and I am a rising senior at Edina High School in MN, USA. I am a strong believer in the amplification of young voices to create tangible changes in our world. As a member of my schools Debate and Model United Nations teams, I have gained a deeper insight into the pressing issues that our world currently faces including Climate Change, Gender Inequality, and the Education Gap. Having witnessed the detrimental effects within my own community, I decided to create a plan that would specifically target Sustainable Development Goal 17. Across Minnesota, we have experienced a drastic rise in temperatures, extreme storms with intense flooding, and heavy snowfalls which have caused irreversible changes to our unique ecosystem. Thus, I came up with a plan to mitigate the effects of global warming not only within my community but throughout the world. Minnesota is blessed as the land of 10,000 freshwater lakes including the Great Lakes in the northern part of the state. However, in some of the Southern states that experience severe droughts, the implementation of actions such as building canals to bring water would help mitigate the water crises for people in these areas. In the future, I hope to study Environmental Engineering in college and would strive to implement these ideas into action.