Almost all facets of modern life include the use of products that are packaged in some way, yet these materials tend to be harmful to the environment in ways that simply are not sustainable. Companies find easy and cheap ways to mass-produce items and increase revenue, yet they disregard the alarming environmental catastrophes that such a misuse of natural resources causes.

The world in which we find ourselves is rapidly becoming less available for supporting life, as the ozone layer is rapidly depleting, and the oceans and fresh water sources are becoming polluted beyond the point of supporting marine life or providing potable water.

Many companies and large businesses simply respond by focusing on space programs, but this is based on the premise that we will be able to sustain life elsewhere. This is rooted in faulty presumptions, because we have yet to find a planet that is well-suited to human life, and even if we somehow manage this, we are likely to destroy that planet as thoroughly as we have been destroying the earth. Added factors that would make such a relocation difficult include the fact that, as far as we know, there is no way to surpass the speed of light, so any hope of space exploration far enough to find another planet similar to the earth remains an unlikely prospect.

Ultimately, we are left with one superior proposition: We must preserve the world that we have. This clear solution is difficult to pursue, however, because businesses often avoid the greater trouble that they must go to in order to create products with environmentally-sound packaging. The trouble they must go through, however, is ultimately worth the effort, as the worst thing for their business would be to have a cataclysmic event that results in a widespread decrease in the quality of life on earth. The public view towards an environmentally safe business will be more favorable, and will result in an increased belief in the good of the business. This will have a powerful influence on the demand for the goods and services produced. It is in everyone’s best interest to pursue a sustainable way of production, since this will result in the longevity of such a business over time, and of the human race in general.

Economically, the availability of more clean resources and means of production will increase as the demand for such products goes up, and then a more sustainable global economy would be fostered. The more companies that embrace this new way of production, the more likely it is that the market for unsustainable products will decrease as the environmentally destructive methods become seen as antiquated and cruel. It is clear that environmentally friendly packaging is the way of the future, and that it is in everyone’s best interest to popularize a more sustainable way of providing the products they create, for the good of the world, and for society as a whole.

Alexandra Comus
Valley Lutheran High School

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