I have always had an innate compassion for animals. I would have grown up to be a veterinarian if the job didn’t include some of the horrors it entails. It’s not that I didn’t understand the “Circle of Life,” I just didn’t want to become numb to it if I lived it every day. Animals color our world. They can’t verbalize their wants and needs, but they communicate with us nonetheless. Humans, especially in today’s society, seem to have lost deeper connections with each other where sometimes the best companionship can be found in a household pet.
As a student in design school, we learned how to use our voices through visual storytelling. It opened a door for me that I never thought I’d have access to. Sometimes issues seem so much bigger than me as an individual, and I feel there’s nothing “I”, just little “me”, could do to change that. However, a concept made visually appealing could touch a myriad of people, and perhaps enlighten them to see things from a new perspective. Working for Emerald Brand, a sustainable company, has allowed me to add my voice to a greater group of voices all working together for the same mission.
Because humans rule our world, most of the time it’s not in the best interest for the other 8 million species that share our planet. That’s why when making improvements and advancing technologies to benefit the human race, we should always be looking at the effects of our actions, and that should be a determining factor whether we proceed with these ideologies.
One of the major threats endangering animals today is deforestation. Human activity, like harvesting vegetation and causing erosion, obliterates precious habitats. Those that survive the demolition are forced to seek out new shelters and begin a new life. However, these new homes and new food sources aren’t easy to find with the decline of our forests. According to the World Wildlife Fund, 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year—equivalent to 48 football fields every minute. Human consumption is the greatest threat to our world’s forests, swamps, plains, lakes, etc. It is the main threat to 85% of all species classified as “Threatened” and “Endangered” on the IUCN’s Red List. Species in tropical regions of Africa, Latin America, and Asia have the highest destruction of habitat loss. Animals like tigers (estimated to be extinct in the wild by 2025), elephants, rhinos, orangutans, and many more are in critical condition with their sources of food and shelter in mass decline. The Giant Panda, now only found in central China with a sobering 1,000 left in the wild, is a species almost exterminated by the destruction of Asia’s bamboo forests. China has since made great efforts to protect and promote the survival of the bear and safeguard preserves.
Emerald Brand combats deforestation everyday with its disposable alternative products. Instead of cutting down hardwood trees, Emerald utilizes agricultural fibers that were previously a wasted crop by-product, to make our Tree-Free brand. We also utilize paper stamped by the Forest Stewardship Council which recognizes that the paper is only taken from responsible sources. Emerald Brand also makes sure its products containing bamboo are panda and wildlife friendly.
Working for a company that takes strides to better our world every day is a way for me to be a part of the “Good in this World.” We as humans have come a long way already from thinking we are the center of the world. Even with that mentality, one should know that their actions affect them just the same. We are all connected in a balance. We must continue to advance in our way of thinking and our technology to be better stewards to this world we have been given. Let’s use our advanced brains to make this world thrive the way it naturally could.