Esther Duflo and Impact over Ideology

“Part of me always wanted to do something useful in the world. It came from my mother. She is a pediatrician and she was active in a small NGO for the child victims of war.”

--Esther Duflo, Economics Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Every year, over 300,000 deaths are attributable to climate change related issues. Even worse, the infiltration of pollutants and other negative, third-order effects of consumerism have impacted every facet of our ecosystem. From various levels of degradation in our air quality to temperature-related deaths or illnesses, every person on the planet is a shareholder in the success of our environment’s health and, certainly, we are all liable for various failures.

Given the loss of human life related directly to climate change, it is important to challenge the presumption that climate change is a future problem. Rather, it is a present problem. Therefore, an examination surrounding climate change and the way we live must not be confined to the academic realm. Instead, a radical approach on the issue that incorporates morality, philosophy, and pragmatism must establish a framework to provide a logical basis of why sustainable thinking ought to be promoted. Ideally, this framework shift will further efforts to preserve the sanctity of life of our precious planet and the lives of our fellow humans.

Sadly, climate change is far from easy to solve and is exacerbated by other, pressing social needs. Around the world, problems heavily impede the development of countries south of the equator. A lack of clean water, a distrust of preventative medicines in urban and rural settings, and inadequate supply chains that unevenly distribute ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in our societies are only a few issues that draw attention away from environmental economic inclusion. Furthermore, this, of course, does not include the religious conflicts and sectarian violent outbreaks that further entangle implementation of policy solutions devised by academic, public policy professionals, and subject matter experts.

Moving forward, the best approach to tackling complex crises is to favor impact over ideology through framing environmental and economic successes as contextual rather than generalizable. Whether grand universal theories exist to unite our understanding is not the intended purpose of this book -- instead, ideally, our readers will further an understanding of how to shift their personal habits towards sustainable development and internalize the importance of environmental economics. Hopefully, ideas will align, naturally, with solutions.


RecyProcity Takes the Lead After China Stumbles

China imports an estimated 45% of the world’s plastic for recycling.

Almost 106 million metric tons of waste are sent on barges to be reintegrated in China’s green economy. For many developed nations, exporting waste can be more profitable than recycling.

“The only reason recyclables are that contaminated is because the majority of worldly citizens don’t separate their waste and recyclables.  But if they did, or at least did better at it, the US, UK, and really the world would not need China that badly anymore. We wouldn’t need them at all actually, because we could do our own refining here! More jobs, easier materials to process, the whole thing would set us free from sending waste to Asia.” - Chris Hauser, Founder of RecyProcity

However, China has new plans. Since the 2017 National Sword Policy passage, China has taken actionable steps to pivot away from its role as the global leader in recycling. Universally used plastics, such as PET or PVC, are now banned; along with 24 other types of solid waste products that are now illegal to import.

Not only has the Chinese Government cited both detrimental environmental effects and public health concerns as new worries, but this new law is also projected to displace 50% of all plastics from 2019 to 2030. Or, in other words, 111 million metric tons of plastics will not have homes.
"What we need to do is take responsibility in making sure that waste is managed in a way that is responsible, wherever that waste goes — responsible meaning both environmentally and socially.” — Jenna Jambeck, Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of Georgia

RecyProcity Pays You To Recycle and Solves The China Issue.

This New York based recycling company not only will accept plastic waste that China no longer will take, but they also pay you. It is an opportunity for Americans to benefit from improving their environmental impact, without the difficulty or time it takes to recycle.

We are faced [with], what I believe, is the greatest moral crisis of our time…[that] those least responsible for nature’s destruction will suffer the greatest consequences. We need nature now more than ever because nature doesn’t need people, people need nature. — Harrison Ford

RecyProcity is set to launch in April 2019. This highly anticipated firm has negotiated with over 300 facilities that intend to use the service and includes three nationally-recognized recycling businesses. In terms of demographics, RecyProcity has partnered with over 300 facilities that intend to use the service in at least eight U.S. states and is also available in the U.K. Specifically, this includes: California, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and cities in the United Kingdom like Birmingham or London.

In our previous article, our team wrote about the payment structure. However, as a brief recap, we wanted to reiterate why signing up for RecyProcity will be a good idea. For less than the price of a Netflix membership, users can either “drop and go” or use “the exchange” to redeem recycle materials for cash. Not only does the service streamline the customer experience, but there are no contracts or termination charges with anyone. Further, the app is localized to users within a specific, geographical radius.

To elaborate, with their patent pending ‘App’, the user is able to locate and exchange recyclable items in return for cash that is electronically transferred into and out of their accounts. After the transaction is made, the other user will pick up and transport the items to a processing facility. Just like Uber has replaced cab drivers, the RecyProcity App has the ability to create new, green jobs that connect consumers with third party service providers to maximize trips from ‘the exchange’ to the redemption facilities!

Parting Thoughts

Read about RecyProcity in our previous article! If you want to learn more, please visit their website by clicking here.  Their Twitter account is @apprecyprocity, and their Facebook page is here, and their Instagram is here.  We hope you check them out because they will revolutionize this space!