Global Sand Crisis: We Are Running Out!

For those that are unaware …

Sand is the most extracted natural resource in the world.

It is a “key ingredient for concrete, roads, glass, and electronics” and many other everyday objects like toothpaste and paper. Unfortunately, sand mining and dredging is extremely damaging to the environment and various ecosystems, endangering communities, and even promoting violent conflict. It is a highly sought after material that is quickly diminishing in quantity while the demand continues to grow.

You may ask or think, “What about all the sand in the desert?” That sand is actually different from marine sand (i.e. sand from rivers, oceans, and lakes). Desert sand is shaped by the wind, which makes the sand very rounded and smooth. While marine sand’s angular shapes lock into place better; therefore, it is better for construction.

This issue may feel as though it does not affect you, but it does.

It is not the most noticeable, but sand is all around you. It is what the building you’re in is made of, what your phone/computer screen is made of, and what the sidewalk you’re walking on is made of. It is used in cosmetic products and even used to mine fossil fuels. Without sand, humans would not have the many luxuries we take for granted today. The negative consequences of sand extraction affects fish, dolphins, crustaceans, crocodiles, turtles, migratory birds, porpoises, some endangered species, microorganisms, fishermen, infrastructure, etc. While also worsening floods in Houston, TX, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh due to coastal erosion and drop-off. This sand crisis is not well-known, but it does exist and will be an ever growing problem.

Here are 2 good Youtube videos pertaining to this subject.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0jfn61FTGQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEPpOGyvCmc

 

Picture Source: https://yourdivineblueprint.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/footprints-in-the-sand.jpg

Content Sources: https://www.businessinsider.com/world-running-out-sand-resources-concrete-2018-6https://www.businessinsider.com/global-sand-shortage-2017-9https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/27/sand-mining-global-environmental-crisis-never-heard

2 thoughts on “Global Sand Crisis: We Are Running Out!

  1. Kuba Rigas

    Really a shame that just because we have the technology for concrete, we try to use it for anything and everything. It’s also interesting that we only learn about this crisis when it’s getting bad, and not when we’re deciding how much sand we’ll use. Oh well!

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