November 5, 2018 12:00 am
Updated: November 5, 2018 9:00 am

What is environmental sustainability and what does it look like in 2018?

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Canada ranks 20th in the world when it comes to sustainability. According to a Sustainable Development Solutions Network report released in July 2018, we’re pacing well to achieve United Nations’ sustainable development goal – a target set by the organization to conquer poverty, hunger and other inequalities by 2030. (Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.)

Our progress in healthcare and gender equality places us in good ranking, but the challenges we face in categories like the environment and responsible production sets us back, Canadian Geographic notes.

But changes are in motion. A global crusade against plastic waste inspired cities and businesses around the world to ban plastic products this year. The conversation started after a video that showed a marine biologist removing a straw from a turtle’s nostril went viral.

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But what’s next and what more needs to be done? What can we do to practice this on a day-to-day basis?

In partnership with Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling, we look at thoughts on environmental sustainability and the steps we can make toward it in 2018 and beyond.

Think about more sustainable food sources

With the world’s population projected to grow to nearly 10 billion by the year 2050, thinking about sustainable food sources should be top of mind.

Recent research reveals that insects can be reared sustainable and emit fewer greenhouse gases than livestock. At the same time, insects have twice as much protein as beef for the same serving size, The Globe and Mail reports.

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Entomo Farms is an Ontario-based company that raises crickets and mealworms for consumption.  They recently announced a deal with Loblaw Companies Ltd. to distribute its cricket powder at local grocery stores – a move that validates the product, Jarrod Goldin, president of the company, tells CBC News.

“We’re involved with research all over the world that shows the value proposition from a scientific point of view, both on the sustainability side and on the health side of things,” he tells Global News.

Take a pass on plastic

Plastic products such as bags, straws and water bottles, take a lot of resources to produce. The waste from these products often find their way into oceans and landfills.

Reusable bags and water bottles can be safe and inexpensive alternatives.

According to Catherine McKenna, Canada’s environment and climate change minister, the federal government intends to adopt a “zero-waste national strategy.”

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This includes implementing solutions that reduce the country’s plastic refuse by a minimum of 75 per cent by 2030. “We can’t just be talking about what everyone else needs to do. We need to be taking action,” McKenna said in a Sept. 2018 press conference.

Adopt best practices around more energy efficient heating and cooling

Upgrading to a heat pump system can save energy and money. Ductless systems, like Mitsubishi Electric’s Mr. Slim line of products, focus on heating and cooling individual rooms as needed.  This reduces power consumption and, as a result, you save energy and achieve optimal comfort throughout your home. It’s a simple step you can do to create a more sustainable future for future generations.

This article was written in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling.

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