Sustainability is a big topic in the modern era. We only have one planet to live on, but we often treat our home as though it is disposable. As we’re all learning, however, this attitude is a surefire way to speed up climate change and make our home uninhabitable.
Some of the most important scientific advancements in the last 20 years are directly related to sustainability. One example is the impressive River’tri that docks in Lyon on the Saône River in France.
River’tri is the first floating waste collection facility in the continent of Europe, and it has a critical mission: to keep the water clean. The boat is a huge boon for Lyon, the third-largest city in France, as it can be used by as many as 5,000 people per year. Annually, River’tri can clean up some 300 tons of waste.
Lyon, despite its size, has only two waste disposal centers that are permanent installations. As such, River’tri is an important feature for the city, as it can dock and be set up in just half an hour. Residents can bring unwanted household items, waste, and food to the barge, which keeps them from having to travel as far to the permanent waste facilities. This, in turn, means that the barge also helps to cut down on traffic in the city, reducing the wear and tear on the roads as well as lessening emissions.
When the boat was first launched in 2016, it was on an experimental basis for its first two years. During that time, it had a budget of 1.8 million euros. It proved to be a huge success for the region. Suez CFT took over operation of the barge after this experimental period and pays 500,000 euros per year to operate the vessel.
Combating waste, increasing sustainability, and tackling climate change head-on are all tough challenges. To keep up with the rate of pollution and to reduce our impact on the planet, everyone needs to do their part. While it can be daunting as just a citizen of the world to try to make a difference, each person can make changes in their own life to help make the world a better place.
One way to do that is to live sustainably. Try to recycle everything you can, and refrain from buying items that will generate waste that can’t be recycled. Try to drive less, and try to use less energy when you can. If we all work together, we can change the world.