“Sustainable Innovation” is key to replenish our natural resources
Dr. Charu Jain
Sustainability is a term that people unknowingly relate with many marketing gimmicks like eco-friendly, more expensive, philanthropy and many more. However, it is an inclusive broad term which in a nutshell covers all the life-generating systems and forces behind renewing the life on mother earth every second of time. What are these forces - Water, Energy, Forests, Sun, Soil, Sea, and all the natural landscape and resources around us? These forces provide us with energy to sustain on this earth as living beings — the energy from all-natural resources like wind, solar, hydro-power. Trees are our life givers provides us with oxygen to breathe every second.
Unfortunately, these resources have been over consumed and uncontrollably polluted by us over the years. We took these for granted thinking they are replenish able by nature itself.
However, this is not the case. We have abused the systems long enough with human-made chemistry such as plastics, generating waste, over energy production and consumption and abusing water by throwing all unwanted elements in its streams all over the world.
Nature has called its limits, and climate change patterns are the signals for us to understand that life is tired and needs revival by stopping our irresponsible behavior towards earth.
Sustainable innovation is the key to change our production patterns-change in materials we use, innovation in systems thinking, innovation in the ways we consume and dispose of materials. Certain elements are very harmful to the environment such as plastics. Single-use plastics are difficult to decompose in landfills, and they take thousands of years to disintegrate. Further, they release harmful chemicals and substances in the soil and water that are not suitable for living organisms. Hence when naive animals ingest these chemicals, plastics, and other harmful human-made materials, they die, and their species are vanishing from mother earth leaving the whole ecosystem in a mess.
This news about a vast whale ingested 1000 pieces of plastics that were being disposed of in the sea waters is just a tiny example of our carelessness towards nature.
It is a serious call to reinvent all our plastics based consumption materials into renewable and natural materials that can readily decompose with earthy elements without leaving any dangerous residues.
Renewable materials such as biodegradable polymers made from vegetable starches and cellulose polymers like Rayon are gaining momentum. Biodegradable polymers are designed to degrade upon disposal by the action of living organisms. Extraordinary progress has been made in the development of practical processes and products from polymers such as starch, cellulose, and lactic acid.
One good example of these is the Pet Waste Industry which is adopting sustainable raw materials for pet waste disposal. One such good example is " bioDOGradable Bags" for dog and cats poop collection, made in the USA. I came across this product a few months ago and since then have started using these bags for my dog. These bags have light, soft touch and have excellent strength. It doesn't look and feel like plastic bags and easily decompose in our waste composter to process pets waste. Every time we use this bag, it gives an immense satisfaction that with this small innovative product, we are doing our part to reduce the environmental pollution. Thanks to the innovators of " bioDOGradable Bags." These bags have a long and sustainable way to go.