How Can We Help the Economy and Save the Environment at the Same Time
Many people think that in order to move forward with our economic development, we need to neglect nature. However, that’s not only false but exactly the opposite of what we must do. 

One hundred percent of our economic activity depends on benefits and services that nature provides us with, and our economic system wouldn’t even exist if there were no ecological ones. 

Still, we lose great economic value by repeatedly degrading nature. Here’s how nature affects our economy, and what we can do to help the economy and save the environment at the same time. 


End carbon-based fuel reliance 

According to many scientists, enough solar energy reaches the Earth every 40 minutes to fuel the entire world with electricity for a year! Enough wind blows through the Midwest every day to satisfy 100% of electricity demand in the entire US. 

And geothermal energy can provide huge amounts of electricity every day. Switching to alternative energy sources would not even have been imaginable a few years ago, but today we’re getting closer to forgetting about carbon fuels because the price of solar, wind and geothermal power is getting lower, while the price of oil and coal is rising. 


Save the animals!

Did you know that our pharmaceutical market is based on the diversity of genetic codes of wildlife? 

That wildlife is mainly found in forests we destroy hectare by hectare. The wildlife also helps keep pests and diseases at bay. For instance, after losing vultures, India had to spend billions of dollars on public health, especially on the rabies infection. 

Insectivorous birds save money on pest control: $310 per hectare in coffee plantations and up to five times more in timber-producing forests. Some predatory birds improve the production of grain, vegetable, and fruit by eating caterpillars and other insects. 

All of these and other expenses caused by degrading nature cost the world economy an estimated $6.6tn every year (and it will reach $28tn by 2050). 

That’s about 11% of world GDP! On the other hand, the costs of averting mass extinctions are around $76bn per year or only 0.12% of world GDP in a year! 

Carbon-catching trees 

While we struggle to reduce fossil fuel emissions, we waste trillions of dollars because forests actually do that for free: we only need to lower the deforestation by half. 

Brazil managed to cut its deforestation rate by 75% only by creating protected areas and more careful monitoring. However, they still continue to experience the loss of two million hectares of forests a year.


Instead of exploiting timber for building, we should concentrate on other natural materials such as concrete, which is much more eco-friendly. Companies such as TDK formwork specialize in using concrete in construction. Concrete is natural, cheap, can be made on site and is easily molded and manipulated. 

Build eco-friendly 

Humans are great builders, and those buildings usually leave a mark on eco-systems and the environment. Fortunately, there are great minds and talented architects that build a green future in mind. 

For instance, Tokyo Olympic Stadium uses geothermal energy, rainwater for cooling, and reuses greywater. The Transformable Antarctic Research Facility blends with the perma-ice landscape of Antarctica. Masdar City plans to ban all gas-powered cars from the area and replace them with their solar counterparts. Buildings and plans such as these help our economy while preserving the world around us. 


So, even though we are being told that nature and ecology block development and growth, you can see that the opposite is happening. Protecting nature is actually synonymous with protecting the economy, since there is no economy without ecological systems. 

Fortunately, some countries, companies and individuals have realized this and are changing their business strategies, acting to protect nature and are teaching other people how and why to do the same. 

It all comes down to the fact that if you want to keep the economy going, you must sustain nature and protect the environment.

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