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A Sustainable Economy

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

The word economics comes from the Greek words oikos and nomos, meaning ‘household management’. Hence, it is important to recognise that economics is just one component of society and not vice versa. However, for the last 3 centuries, since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 1760s, nations have measured their success and development largely on economic indicators. In doing so, we have given unequal attention to wellbeing, health, and the environment, all equally important parts of society.


While economic growth is closely tied with the development of a nation, it fails to recognize the cost at which it comes. Estimates say that 2980 square kilometers of forests were burned by humans in 2019 alone. Consequently, research led by the National Autonomous University concluded that 477 species have gone extinct since 1900. Additionally, experts now predict that there are over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic into our ocean, devastating marine ecosystems across the globe. However, all this is alright, because the global gross domestic product (GDP) per capita suggests we are 13 times better off than we were 50 years ago (World Bank). This is the fundamental issue with conventional economics, it fails to observe a holistic view of a country and therefore creates an illusion that society is progressing in the correct direction.


Old Economics ‘More is better’


There is a very simple rule in old economics, more is better. GDP is a measure of the amount of stuff produced by an economy. The more stuff a country produces, the better off it is. However, natural resources are depleting quicker than ever before: at the current rate of consumption, all oil reserves will be used up in just 43 years. It has become exceedingly obvious that the old attitude taken towards economics is outdated, it is time we reinvent the way we manage our resources and measure our success.

A Sustainable Economy


By definition, a sustainable economy is one where the supply of renewable resources by nature, also known as bio-capacity, exceeds the global consumption of natural resources, or our ecological footprint. Ideally, our consumption, manufacturing and disposal patterns would support the endless propagation of the economy. Realistically, a sustainable economy simply asks consumers and producers to take into account the external costs of their decisions.


Sustainable economics is not a completely new idea. Much of what a sustainable economy aims to do was defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2015. Especially goal 11 sustainable cities and communities and goal 12 responsible consumption and production. Like many of the SDGs, working towards a sustainable economy requires a paradigm shift in the values and practices of our society.


How Does Terrabite Play a Role in all This?


At Terrabite, we aim to help Singapore lead the world in becoming a sustainable economy and set an example for developing nations. Specifically, Terrabite is looking to address one of the largest most wide-spread threats to the environment, one-time-use plastic. By offering completely biodegradable wooden alternatives to businesses around Singapore, we are facilitating the necessary transition to a more sustainable economy.


If you too would like to take the step towards making a more sustainable economy contact contact@terrabite.co and reinvent your brand.

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