Only one planet can sustain human life in this solar system and that planet is Earth. Every single day the Earth creeps closer and closer to becoming unsuitable for supporting human life. This impeding and irreversible devastation can still be avoided, but not for much longer. Once the planet reaches the point of no return, there is no second option to resort to.

Individuals can try their best to reduce their waste, but their efforts will not make enough of a difference. Even if an entire country’s citizens make the switch to be more sustainable, the negative impacts of companies that have not made efforts to be aware of their impacts on the environment will still outweigh the efforts of an entire country. Companies create much more waste, so only they can make an impact on prolonging the health of the Earth by becoming more environmentally conscious. It is the duty of companies to reduce the waste they produce in order to extend the viability of the Earth. One main way companies can try is to use environmentally friendly packaging. This type of packaging is less harmful to the environment and the Earth than regular packaging. Environmentally friendly packaging is often biodegradable which means that it will eventually decompose and will be able to be recycled by the environment.

Currently, most packaging uses plastic, which is rarely reused and uses oil and petroleum products. This is detrimental to the environment because plastic will sit in landfills for eternity and the production of plastic drains fossil fuels, which are already nonrenewable and dwindling in supply. Plastic and cardboard packaging rarely gets reused and thus it is important for companies to both reduce the amount of packaging used while also working towards using more sustainable materials for packaging. Sustainable packaging includes using recycled materials, as opposed to creating new materials. It also can include materials like bamboo, which can be easily grown and is renewable. Returnable packaging is also sustainable because rather than producing new packaging, packaging can be cleaned and reused, which cuts costs for the companies in the long run. Environmentally friendly packaging is often cheaper than regular packaging, but the only reason companies haven’t switched is because they are afraid of change. The fate of future generations overrides the small conveniences of now.

It is our duty as humankind to preserve the Earth and the environment. Humans have been destroying the environment for decades and we are nearing the point of no return as each day goes by. Change must happen now or the Earth, including Humans and the environment, are doomed to suffer from climate change and never-ending pollution. Moving towards environmentally friendly packaging also expands a company’s customer base. The use of sustainable packaging invites environmentally conscious consumers to use their products since there is a large grouping of people who will only support companies who are environmentally conscious and make active efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. This newly accessible population is also very loyal since they trust the companies that they support to stay environmentally friendly.

Essay by: Violet Peterson
Arizona State University

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