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Innovation and Sustainability

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Innovation and Sustainability
Why is controlling human production and consumption important to our material resources this earth has created for us? This is the essential question so many are asking in today’s society. Many decades have been addressing the ecological impacts of consumptions and production therefore air quality has improved, waste and industrial pollution has been controlled more and products are more proficient with more informed consumers to boot. As we know these are steps in the right path, however more must be done to manage consumption and production of our material resources.
Elemental changes are needed in how natural resources are removed and the way products are produced, dispersed, used and disposed of. Action is needed at all levels of society from individuals and industry through to central and local administration in order to reverse past and current trends and live within biological limits. Thus in this thesis, I will discuss two material resources of consumptions and productions that humans are constantly producing and consuming and how we can potentially decrease them. The first consumption called deforestation often leads to a production such as farming. The second consumption to be discussed is urban sprawl, which leads to the production of water pollution. However, let us first define deforestation and urban sprawl.
“Deforestation commonly defined as the elimination of trees and other plants from forest areas more quickly than they can be replanted or rejuvenated naturally. Urban sprawl is the spreading of urban and suburban areas into undeveloped lands. “(Turk, 2011) Marcus Colchester states that, "Deforestation, in other words, is an expression of social injustice.” The consumption of deforestation happens for many reasons and is quite intricate. They also vary from region to region. Our text states, “Tropical forest make up less than 10% of the earths land surface, yet these ecosystems are home to roughly half of the planets biodiversity.” (Turk, 2011) This in turn provides and maintains life, as we know it. People agree with the fact that deforestation causes extinction rates to increase. I personally believe if we are cutting down forest than we are contributing to the extinction rate because there are creatures living in the forest probably more creatures than we have even discovered. Not to mention trees and plants provide oxygen for us to survive. Deforestation in turn leads to the production of farming or logging. Farmers wish to have a place to grow their crops and place their cattle. They often use the turn and technique of slash-and-burn. Therefore causing “ the soil to loss its nutrients, flooding and erosion rates to be high and then the soil often becomes unable to use or support crops in just a few short years.” (Turk, 2011) Then the farmers must move to another forest or land area to start all over again. Before the first land or forest is renewed, the second one is failing as well. The cycle continues and continues. Research shows it take up to fifty years for a forest to grow back completely. Some solutions to provide deforestation and the production of farming are reforesting which means one must place back what they have destroyed. Secondly, bans can be set in place for those forests that are what we call ancient. Thirdly, sustainable forest which means using the forest in ways that will not destroy the life in permanent ways or only cutting timber or plants that the forest can support or grow back quickly. Recycling is another option to cut back on deforestation and the production of farming. This would mean just simply cutting back on crops or produce that increases the demands for tropical forest ingredients."Reducing the demand for Southern-produced agribusiness crops and alleviating the pressure from externally-financed development projects and assistance is the essential first step" (Colchester and Lohmann, 1993).These ideas will not stop deforestation but they will help the environment in which we live. Not only does deforestation and farming affect our environment so does the consumption of urban sprawl which in turn provides production in water pollution.
Urban sprawl is on the rise due to the increasing population growth. This society is growing at a rapid rate therefore causing people to move, build and consume urban and suburban lands. “Sprawl increases air pollution, which produces water pollution. In addition, urban activities create water pollution directly, through land run-off of construction site erosion, fuel spills, oil leaks, paint spills, lawn chemicals, pet wastes, and so forth. Sprawled, low-density development produces more than it shares of runoff as well. Then more water is consumed for lawn watering and other landscape activities leaving a strain on local water supplies.”(Cwac.net) This in turn leads to water restrictions for many areas or an increase in water rates. Urban sprawl can be slowed with a concept called Smart Growth. “Which is a form of urban planning that recognizes urban growth will occur but uses zoning laws and other tools to prevent sprawl, direct growth to certain areas, protect ecologically sensitive and important lands and waterways, and develop urban areas that are more environmentally sustainable.” (Turk, 2011) Society can stop the production of water pollution by controlling the consumption of urban sprawl.
In conclusion, this thesis discussed two consumptions and productions. First, reducing the effects of deforestation will help control the production of farming and the destruction of the forest. Secondly, the calculating of urban sprawl will in turn decrease the production of water pollution affecting many areas of the beautiful earth. We need to take a stand and fight to keep our earth as clean and gorgeous as we can for future generations to come. References

Colchester and Lohmann (Ed), The struggle for Land and the Fate of the Forest, 1993, Zed Books, London. Retrieved from: http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/background/causes.htm

Cwac.Net, Land Use & Urban Sprawl (2011). Retrieved from: http://www.cwac.net/landuse/index.html

Turk, J. and Bensel, T. (2011). Contemporary Environmental Issues, Retrieved from: http://content.ashford.edu/books/AUSCI207.11.1

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