When thinking back on the events of 2019, one cannot look past some of the vital moments of this year that have sparked a resurgence in environmental sustainability and preservation. This 2019, the world saw devastating fires in the Amazon jungle, a gold mine of endangered ecosystems and carbon dioxide reducing forests. We saw an increase in the coral reef bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and the disappearance of one of the oldest Icelandic glaciers. The effects of pollution and the destruction of mankind on the planet has never been more apparent. Young and old environmentalists alike have never been so adamant in our need to change the way humans use and interact with the world.
A young environmentalist by the name of Greta Thunberg has sparked a global reaction among the youth of today. Thunberg made headlines across the world after her speech at the New York, UN General Assembly. Since then, Greta has been trending on social media and inspiring and challenging young people all over the planet to take part in a movement to save what we have left of the planet.
In line with this growing movement to recycle, reduce, and reuse material goods, corporations and households have jumped on the bandwagon and are looking for ways with which they can pitch in and take part in the movement. With a growing demand for recycled goods, companies like H&M have started collecting used clothes and have developed new a recycled line of clothing. Fast fashion mega houses like Forever 21 are slowly dying making way for more sustainable and durable clothing options. Waste management facilities are looking for alternative ways to process waste and are looking to waste recycling equipment to get the job done. In countries like South Korea and Japan, a tax is put on the amount of garbage a household produces, leading to less waste and a more thoughtful consumption of goods. Some households are being more mindful of what they bring into their homes with consumers opting to bring their own reusable containers and bags during grocery shopping. With an increased interest in finding a new life for used goods, the popularity of selling used items online has led to the development of new mobile apps and websites; what was once old for someone is now new for another. Although these changes may be small, they are contributing to a bigger picture.
Arguably, Greta Thunberg isn’t the first young person to spark a movement, but with her efforts to promote the importance of preserving our planet gaining widespread attention on social media around the globe, she has helped bring back life and an urgent importance into the green movement. With small changes happening everyday, we as individuals can contribute to the revival of our dying planet. So what will you do to help?