Our environment supports our health and our economy. Business as usual is based on having a steady supply of natural resources, as well as having safe roads and transportation available, in order for industries to be able to change products from their natural state into something that can be made available for the consumer’s use.
Cleaning up waste created during each stage of production through the final use and discard of the product by the consumer needs to be accepted as a responsibility of all of us and would create jobs.
A clean environment supports safer food and a more bio-diverse population of wildlife – and biodiversity has been associated with healthier wildlife including the insects – which could help promote health through reduced rates of infection. Protecting our environment from industrial waste also protects health of individuals and wildlife through reduced exposure to toxins.
Reducing the spread of invasive plants and wildlife can help protect property or other financial interests of businesses. Management of invasive species without the use of potentially harmful herbicides or pesticides is likely to require significant manual labor – which would be a benefit to workers in need of more manual labor jobs.
Green jobs could incorporate education and assistance of younger helpers or college-age interns with projects that connect students and educators with industry tours or invasive plant management (aka weeding).
Individual goals to work towards for the goal of protecting the environment and managing our use of resources include:
- End subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, redirect the money to renewable resources and research and development in areas such as more sustainably sourced biofuel and improved batteries for windpower or for solar powered vehicles. More on this point was included in the Economy and Green Jobs section.
- Strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Clean Water Act and require the fracking industry to follow the Clean Water Act and other environmental standards and to monitor and report what chemicals are being used and created in the fracking process.
- Create jobs in soil and hazardous waste remediation throughout urban and rural areas wherever hazardous conditions have been identified. (Urban areas tend to have lead in the soil due to increased amounts of traffic during the years when leaded gasoline was in use.) Clean up the radioactive waste remaining at the Hanford, Wash. location and any other sites where nuclear waste or other nuclear power plant hazards have been identified.
- Climate change is already happening. Plan ahead for it when possible and rezone areas that are likely to become increased flood risks to reduce building in the area and/or require more flood resistant types of construction to be built in low lying areas. Support research and development of construction ideas for use flood zones (forget about the mousetrap we need a better houseboat and factory boat and gardening boat).
- Support increased construction of bike lanes and bike share programs in urban areas.
- Support increased use of reusable diapers or biodegradable diapers by subsidizing the purchase of those types of products and/or by providing those types of products to low income caregivers or senior citizens.
- And support the use of reusable menstrual products or more biodegradable menstrual products to low income women and girls and requiring prisons to provide adequate supplies of either type to female prisoners based on their preference. Having adequate menstrual products has been found to improve school attendance by girls in research based in Africa. [citation needed, I think it was mentioned in the book Half the Sky.]
- Effective health care based on prevention of chronic illness and use of less screenings and surgical procedures and pharmaceutical based treatments would also likely add up to less waste being added to the environment.
- Banning several food additives and agribusiness chemicals and crops was also included in the Effective Health Care section. Chemicals that are hazardous to humans are also likely to be increasing sickness in wildlife and farm animals that may then risk spreading to humans. Increasing infertility in humans may suggest that the entire food chain may be experiencing problems with infertility. Malformed genitals and increased homosexuality may also be associated with increased estrogen mimetic pollutants in the environment. A food supply based on less use of chemicals and more use of hand labor would help protect the environment and provide more jobs.
- Create jobs in invasive species control that include positions for manual labor and for education positions for training and supervising student volunteers in the manual labor required for invasive species control.
Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care.
Effective Policy includes recycling and picking up litter
- Be a super-hero for the planet!
Environment & more Green Jobs.
treat the planet as if it gives us all life, because it does.