Space4SDG12: Reponsible Consumption & Production

Published by- Joy Agrawal on 15/07/2021

Sustainability is about responsible usage of the resources that our generation relishes so that our future generations too have that chance of relishing the resources we have. This demands for responsible consumption, if we conserve things we use often then we will save it for our future and thus if demand goes down so will the production thus preserving the natural balance of resources we have on Earth. Space technology has provided the world a way to monitor whatever goes on the whole of surface of Earth without human intervention. This coverage which we have of the whole Earth can help us track the amount of natural resources we have and will aid us in the planning of how the resources be utilised and from where and how much. It can help us monitor if any company is taking more for production than they are allowed to extract. It can help track illegal goods being smuggled and even human slavery through satellite imagery coupled with a few other factors.

The above image shows the tracking of the Iranian ships which allegedly smuggles crude oil to Syria.

This data reach can allow agencies to track illegal movement of goods which is due to the overproduction which tends to overexploitation of the resources. Smart agriculture powered by satellite data which can help gain efficiency and increase yield for farmers through proper irrigation and most nutrition rich ground for cultivation. This can increase yields in limited resources and also ensure responsible consumption so that there is enough for all. Now, since plastics are very important and indispensable in today’s era. Replacing it would is a long affair on the other hand to reduce the natural resources like cellulose, coal, and crude oil that it takes to produce plastic we need to reduce the consumption which will in turn decrease production. There is a lot of plastic in the oceans as we know but we don’t know where to find the plastics and gather them. Satellite imagery can help detect visually and chemically plastics in the ovens through colour patterns of plastic or some chemical signature which can help. This plastic can be gathered and then recycled to decrease utilisation of natural resources for this but the plastic companies are not very actively working on this, because this can be very capital intensive for first search and extraction mission and then processing. That is actually where Not-for-profits are stepping in who are cleaning the debris in the ocean and sending it over to companies to be utilised for instance Adidas has created brand of shoes which are recycled from the ocean plastic.

With space technology we can ensure responsible and enough agricultural production for all. We can track illegal shipments which have illegally extracted natural resources in order to avoid overexploitation of resources. It can help detect plastic hotspots in ocean which can be extracted and recycled. Space technology has the potential of changing how and how much resources are extracted and produced. In order to increase longevity of resources on Earth responsibly producing and consuming is of utmost importance.