Global warming, pollution, plastics clogging up our oceans, wildlife facing extinction – environmental catastrophes seem to be in the news every single day.
Can today’s young people do what older generations have struggled to do, and be the ones who take meaningful steps to save our planet?
While you might want to help, you may not know how to – perhaps you’ve thought about joining a wildlife protection group in your area, or dreamt about volunteering overseas.
But did you know that you can actually make a difference while getting paid to do it?
There are many careers which focus on helping the environment, but what are they, and how do you break into what is a growing industry?
Margaret Bates has the answer.
She is one of the world’s leading experts on waste, and works at the University of Northampton, which runs several courses which cover environmental subjects, including waste management.
She said: “I think I have the best career in the world. I travel to different countries, to see how they are struggling with, or helping to solve, issues around waste. Whether it’s plastic in the sea, dangerous electrical waste or perhaps litter and recycling.
“The sad fact is, while some countries have a progressive attitude to waste, and are taking the problem seriously, there is still much work to be done around the planet if we want to leave it in a healthy state for future generations.
“If we continue at the current rate there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 – which is not acceptable. We work with all types of people – governments, charities, shops and manufacturers to find ways to deal with and recycle waste – both in the UK and overseas.
“Our courses in environmental science specialise in wastes management and give student the skills and knowledge to help make our environment a better place. Our graduates have gone on to work for regulators, schools, the government, charities, retailers and consultancies – some have even set up their own businesses recycling and selling waste!
“A degree in wastes management helps to set you up in a life-long career – whether you want to work in the UK or abroad – making a real difference to people’s lives and the environment.”
Find out more about the University of Northampton’s courses here.