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Sustainability and Recycling

By: James Murray-White - Updated: 28 Jan 2014 | comments*Discuss
Sustainability Sustainable Development

Sustainability, otherwise known as sustainable development, is how we plan for our future as a species and as smaller societies within the wider framework.

True sustainable development takes into account all the resources upon the planet: humans, water, wood, land space etc, and assesses how we can manage the entire package and grow or develop the individual resources that already exist, for the future. Making sure that there is enough wood for human needs, for use as paper, cardboard, flooring, building etc, is a good example of this - making sure there is enough, yet ensuring that we do not cut down all the forests available.

To do this process sustainably, with care and respect for the environment, is the key to responsible sustainable development. A practical example of this is in ensuring many of the wood products we use are from sustainable forests, managed by organisations that cut and re-plant in continual rotation, and care for the trees they manage. Ensuring that where possible, our wood products contain some recycled wood, or by products of forestry, like sawdust, clippings, and off cuts is crucial if we truly care about trees and the environment, for all our benefit.

Recycling: a Key to Sustainable Development

It is clear that one way of managing our resources successfully for the future lies in recycling the resources and the products of those resources, again and again. This may mean products and packaging have to be designed better and made stronger in order to last longer.

Filling our life with one-shot products and packaging, like paper, cans, plastic bags, plastic trays that microwave meals come in, wine bottles and cardboard, is not sustainable. These products need to either last longer and be useable for a continued range of uses, or to be made more biodegradable in order to be recycled easier into a raw material again, which can then be reprocessed and reused.

Educating the public upon all issues of recycling products and everyday objects is a cornerstone of environmental education and needs to be made very central to the public information network, through websites such as this, and other media and community resources.

For everyone to know that by buying responsibly made products, such as glass bottles made from recycled glass, or plain paper made from recycled paper, and responsibly recycling these products after use, we all are playing our part in ensuring that this generation, and generations to come, have a sustainable future ahead, with at least some of the resources available that will be needed to survive and to thrive.

Sustainability is inherently a political issue, as is recycling. It is clear that if the British public conscientiously recycles all their domestic products, and all the municpal Councils collect it all up, and as a Country we ship it off to be processed in China, or elsewhere other than the shores of this Island, this is not truly sustainable behaviour.

Shipping waste off for others to deal with consumes energy, which contributes to the National energy consumption and output of carbon and greenhouse gases, and is absolving responsibility. Using the National resources of brains and expertise, the UK needs to spend more energy on developing internal recycling initiatives; taking responsibility for our own National sustainability, as well as being a key player within the International sustainable development planning strategies.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I am initiating a unit on Recycling and sustainability with Year 6. What resources do you have available? Speakers? Do you have any school rulers/pencils made from recycled materials? I teach at Our Lady's Junior's
teacher - 7-Jan-14 @ 7:57 PM
Hi.. Can you please advise how we obtain permission to use a recycle logo on one of our packaging products. Thank you
Di - 8-May-13 @ 5:11 PM
this realy did not help me at all
poop - 10-Mar-13 @ 10:05 AM
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