"I can initiate positive, sustainable impact on others or the environment."
There are so many ways to initiate positive impacts, but it is important to recognize sometimes that you may think you are making one, but in reality, you may not be doing such... here are some examples!
A negative impact that some people don’t notice is the usage of electric cars. There are advantages, but personally, it is shocking to see how the negatives may potentially outweigh them. To begin with, it is evident that electric cars run on electricity. In some areas, they use coal-fired power plants to produce this sort of energy. Electric cars run on that electricity, so in retrospect, using this sort of automobile is hardly a step up for those wanting to decrease the amount of greenhouse gases they consume. However, the way of which electric vehicles are made is a also pretty interesting topic when viewing from the scale of emissions it can produce in doing so. In an electric car, it is known that it is made from many rare metals to help make the vehicle light. The question is where do they come from? They originate in environmentally destructive mines. To make matters more difficult, rare metals are also found in small quantities and very inconvenient locations. Mining, to begin with, has many hidden emissions. For example, they use rock-crushing equipment to coal-firing furnaces to reach and make the metals useable. All of these ways used to obtain these metals can create a lot of carbon dioxide that will be released into the atmosphere. Consequently, is it that green? I found an interesting fact that stated that manufacturing an electric vehicle generates more carbon emissions than building your typical gas-run vehicle. Furthermore, recycling your electric automobile may be harder as well. However, it’s not only electric cars that rely on these rare metals, but there are also solar panels. Personally, I find this quite shocking. Receiving energy from the sun may be green, but getting the tools needed to do so is the complete opposite. Wow!
Another negative impact that some people don’t notice can be recycling. For example, the recycling process itself produces a lot of pollutants. This is due to exhaust from recycling trucks and the energy used at the recycling plants. Thus, air pollution is still a problem. Recycling does not simply just green. It still can hurt the environment. Furthermore, the current methods that we have aren’t that effective. Take plastic bags for example. It’s estimated that about 91% of plastic is not recycled, and consequently, tons end up the landfill every year. However, some products just can’t be recycled, and we just aren’t there for it to be. As a result, there are many limitations. It is also important to recognize that not all recycled materials are actually recycled after you put them in the bin. Moreover, there is also a negative sentiment that arises from recycling: it causes many people to think that because recycling is available, it’s okay to be wasteful. It gives off this mindset that if we put materials that we’ve used in the recycling bin or if we buy products that are made from recycled material, we are still saving resources. In reality, this “false promise” causes people to feel justified in using more products and feeling good about it since we believe we are still saving the environment. Nonetheless, recycling evidently hold many positive effects on the environment, so it thus arises a question: should we still be recycling?
From buying energy saving equipment to recycling, it is hard to always cause and initiate positive effects to an environment. However, it is important to keep in mind that commencing a positive and sustainable impact on the environment is always possible and can be found in smallest to largest actions. For example, volunteering outside of school to help people and children grow more comfortable in their own skin to just asking someone in your class whether they want to join your group for a project can do all of that. I personally volunteer that the local library to help elementary students appreciate and grow more comfortable speaking the French language. It’s important to take try to take charge even though you might not be presented directly with an opportunity.
Thank you for reading,