Imagine a world where everybody does the little things...

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February sustainability impact from using reusable beverage containers

Development of February - May impacts in progress...

Because every action makes a difference. Doing one load of wash in cold water instead of warm makes a difference. Using a reusable cup instead of a disposable one makes a difference. Choosing to buy a product that will biodegrade instead of a nonbiodegradable one makes a difference.

Because the vast majority of Americans aren’t familiar with the concept of sustainability as it relates to our planet. Sustainability for our planet means that it can continue to provide the ecosystem services that allow us to live – the key ones are air and water purification, soil production, nutrient cycling, and regulation of the chemical composition of the atmosphere, which controls the climate. Unfortunately, Earth’s ability to provide these services is declining – an ever-growing number of people don’t have clean air and water and food. That’s because demand for Earth’s services is increasing along with the world’s population and consumption, while our supply of natural resources to provide services is decreasing.

Some of these natural resources have taken millions of years to accumulate. We maintain our consumption level by using lots of these slowly acquired natural resources quickly, much faster than Earth can regenerate them. Our demand for resources exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate by more than 50 percent. We’re pumping fresh water faster than rain falls, catching fish faster than they spawn. Forests are shrinking by about an acre a second. That’s not sustainable.

According to the United Nations, if everyone globally consumed at the level that Americans consume, we would need almost 5 planets to provide resources. Even with billions of people living in poverty, we would need about 1 1/2 planets to produce the resources we consume globally.