The topic of sustainability trends has been emphasised upon for many years. The concern for the economic, social and environmental issues facing the world has been one of the significant goals of sustainability. The exploitation and excessive use of natural resources have made the environment suffered and disturbed its ecological balance. Human activities have drastically impacted the environment in many ways, and the result is known to everyone. The climatic changes in the recent few years have raised a question on the global systems working presently. Therefore, the adoption of sustainable goals is the need of the hour.
The importance of sustainability has also been emphasized by the United Nations, where they have set 17 sustainable development goals to eradicate poverty, provide free education, zero hunger, and equality. Various initiatives and actions have been taken by the government to move towards sustainability. The need is more urgent as now the world is also dealing with a big pandemic of coronavirus and political unrest. The business firms and companies need to help the government fulfill these sustainability goals by adopting and incorporating these sustainability trends and make the planet a better place to live in.
In the recent past, many sustainability trends have been started and have been successful to quite an extent. Below we will discuss some sustainability trends that will be the talk of the town and aim towards a sustainable environment in the 2020s.
The Major Sustainability Trends
- Sustainable fashion- The fashion industry is one of the most significant sectors that contributes to the economy. According to a report given by the United Nations Commission for Europe, the apparel industry produces 20 percent of global water waste and 10 percent of global carbon emissions into the environment. This calls for a need to shift from fast fashion to sustainable fashioner slow fashion where quality pieces keeping the environment in mind will be produced. The products would be produced with a thought of being ethical without compromising on trends and fashion. A sustainable item can be reused, recycled, repaired, and revamped to increase its longevity and thus minimize the toll being put on the environment. In the recent years, various strategies and innovations have been done in the fashion industry like using fabric made from plants and leaves of fruits, making luxury wares from food waste, producing t-shirt made without chemicals, etc. which have focused on sustainability to reduce carbon emissions, fabric waste, water usage, and other resources.
- Carbon removal or zero emissions will be the thing of the future– With increasing human activities in the past, the emission of greenhouse gases has been on a high. One of the significant gases is carbon dioxide. The burning of fossil fuels, smoke emitted from industries, excessive pollution have all caused an increase in the level of carbon in the atmosphere. As per the statistics, since the industrial revolution the carbon dioxide emissions have increased from 40% to 400 ppm. The US today report states that carbon emissions have seen a most significant jump in seven years. It is disturbing the ecological balance of the environment. Therefore the need of the hour is to keep a check on the carbon emissions and find out ways to reduce it significantly. We need to achieve a zero-emission state, and it requires techniques and ideas to achieve that. One such technique is the carbon removal technique. By carbon removal technique, we mean storing carbon in different forms like soil, trees, oceans, lakes, underwear reservoirs, and concrete forms of carbon and removing the carbon from the atmosphere. The climatic models use bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. This process involves using the energy in the industrial, or other sectors capturing the emissions before they are in the atmosphere and storing them underground or in a concrete form. Some countries have already started working on carbon removal. One such technique is the direct air capture system being used in Canada and the United States. Carbon mineralization has also been deployed wherein carbon dioxide with some other gases turns into solid from gas.
- Change in eating habits shifting towards plant-based eatables– this trend has been popular in the recent past. The use of lab-grown meat which is similar in taste, composition, and texture instead of the regular meat. The meat industry has had negative impacts of releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and putting a toll on the environment. People are shifting towards being vegan which is affordable and quite accessible these days. The supermarkets are flooded with such foods like veggie meat, tofu, and tempeh. In this regard, a company named beyond meat has made World’s first meat burger that is made from the plant. It is made from vegetable proteins found in peas.
- Reduction in energy consumption- The use of LED lights and bulbs is also getting popular these days. It has replaced the traditional incandescent bulbs. They have reduced the energy consumption to a great extent by around 40%, which helps in saving the electricity bill and saves money. By adopting the LED lights, American households can achieve 84% market share by 2030.
- Moving from plastic to eco- friendly paper bags- the plastic has caused water pollution and depletion of the oceans, in turn, affecting the food we consume. So, cutting on the use of plastic and making use of paper and jute bags will help in saving the environment. The cutting of plastic in the packaging will be very beneficial as it will help in attaining a sustainable environment. Through its program blue planet 2, the consumers are made aware of the negative impact the use of plastic is having on the environment and the animals.
- Microgrids- Microgrids are one of the sustainability trends to come. Microgrids provide a reliable and secure supply of power in the places where their is a scarcity of power. Because of the weather conditions, there are interruptions in electricity. Microgrids will serve as a more reliable infrastructure. Microgrid projects are affordable and cost-effective. One successful microgrid project is being run in Finland like Lidl’s carbon-neutral distribution center. They have gained popularity in recent years in many sectors like infrastructure, commercial, construction, and industrial.
- A trend toward water conservation- With approximately 7.5 billion population, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be no drinking water left for the community. The situation is alarming and needs urgent concern. About 1.1 billion people are facing water shortage in the world. Scarcity of water affects human lives and flora and fauna. It leads to a lack of food, as agriculture requires a large amount of water. It causes various diseases like malaria, typhoid, cholera etc. it also leads to desertification of land, lose of plants and death of wildlife. Thus, affecting the ecosystem on the whole. The companies are showing interest in saving water efficiently. The companies are becoming more aware of their water footprints. They are becoming more educated on how water is used in operation and production and keeping track of their water bills.
These sustainability trends will be the thing of the future. They are the need of the hour to ensure sustainable development. Companies and firms are adopting and investing in techniques to ensure sustainable development. They are becoming more aware of the importance of using such methods to save their cost and the environment. Now, what is left is for humans to be more aware of and concerned about the application of the sustainability trends so that truly sustainable development can be achieved.
See Also: Top Sustainable City Trends to Follow