In This Issue

Improving Food Waste is a Top Contender for Improving Sustainability

Floor Care – Green to Sustainable

Sustainability Principles Applied to Boiler Water Treatment: Part One

VOCs and Cleaning Products

Letter from the Editor

Sustainability Resources Sustainability Tips

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Volume 20   |   Issue 1   |   March 2018

Humanity has been put on notice – again

By Beth Edmondson

A recent article posted on, reprinted from The Washington Post, issues a dire warning about our environmental impact on Earth.  In a letter published in the journal BioScience, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries assessed the world’s latest responses to various environmental threats.  In it, the article states that “Humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environment challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse.”

What are these challenges?

  • Global climate change is at the top of the list.  Global temperatures have risen by more than half a degree Celsius since 1992.  Carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 62%.
  • Access to fresh water has declined; the amount of forestland and wild-caught fish has declined.
  • The number of dead zones in the ocean has increased.
  • The human population has increased by 2 billion, yet mammal, reptile, amphibian and fish populations have declined by nearly 30%.

But there is one bright spot:

  • The hole in the planet’s protective ozone layer has shrunk to its smallest size since 1988.  Credit this good news to the phasing out of chlorofluorocarbons – chemicals once used in refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosol cans that trigger the atmosphere to break down ozone.

“This change in the ozone shows that we can make a positive change when we act decisively”, says the journal.

So what do we need to do?

  • Establish nature reserves
  • Reduce food waste
  • Develop green technologies
  • Establish economic incentives to shift patterns of consumption

The scientists who signed this second warning aren’t raising a false alarm.  They are acknowledging the obvious signs that we are heading down an unsustainable path.  Hopefully this paper will ignite a widespread public debate about the global environment and climate.