According to the USDA, agriculture and related industries compromised 5.4% of the GDP. This number is likely larger because many other industries rely on agriculture to function as well. Land clearing, water, and air pollution, and mass resource extraction all lead to diminishing biodiversity. As a result, resources become more expensive to extract.
The rate at which we consume water is greater than it can be regenerated. Simply put, water is a finite resource — We ineffectively extract groundwater as opposed to efficiently capturing rainwater. The economic benefits of using water wisely are great.
For years, the restorative economy has been working to combat the damages done to the environment. The restorative economy includes businesses that follow green initiatives to either preserve what is left of the earth and/or replenish what was lost. This is achieved through efforts of reducing waste, recycling materials, composting, using sustainable energy sources (hydro and solar energy), sourcing fair-trade workers and materials, and green architecture, to name a few.
The up-front costs of green initiatives can be more expensive, but in the long term, these are what will be more impactful on the environment and economy. These practices will save money down the road, have a positive impact on the economy, and preserve the earth.
In fact, a study by Todd BenDor showed that the benefits of the restorative economy are significant, creating 120,000 jobs and bringing in a revenue of $9.5 billion annually. These effects are compounded when considering that restorative business generates 95,000 additional jobs and brings in $15 billion annually through indirect but related economic activity with a non-restorative business. Our ecosystems must be saved and replenished because our current practices will further damage ourselves and our society.