We’ve all heard of the interesting professions highlighted on the show “Dirty Jobs,” but what are the world’s cleanest jobs and what do they look like? In partnership with Dong Orsted, we’ve brought to you a list of some of the world’s most important environmental jobs. From professional recyclers to in-vitro meat scientists, we’ll profile the top 9 eco-friendly odd jobs you’ve never heard of.
Around the world, urban growers are often our first window into sustainable living. Depending on your location, local gardens and green roofs can be found within walking distance or a drive away. The gardens come in various sizes and are often supported by local communities, non-profits, churches, even schools. Each urban garden serves a unique purpose depending on the community. From aesthetically manicured roof gardens built for recreation to local community gardens providing produce for food desserts around the country, the demand for green roofs and gardens continue to grow. It is the responsibility of urban growers to deliver locally sourced food and agriculture to communities to help foster or increase their sustainability.
Water Quality Technicians
From daily pollution to oil spills, water quality technicians are now more important than ever before. These technicians and technologists are responsible for maintaining federally mandated and safe water conditions for humans and animals alike. By conducting regular inspections and sampling local water sources, these individuals help set standards for water quality around the world. Due to an influx in environmental disasters including oil spills and poor water treatments, water quality technicians are working around the clock to make creative solutions. Back in 2008, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power emptied a total of 96 million polyethylene balls into the Ivanhoe River to save 300 million gallons of water from evaporation. These individuals are working to form creative solutions for a cleaner future.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle. That was the motto we were taught growing up. But did you know that there are professional recyclers? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling just one ton of paper can save enough energy to power the average American home for six months. No wonder it’s a profession. These individuals work day in and day out to make your environment cleaner and greener, sifting through massive trash dumps to collect plastic bags, cardboard, and bottles. The following steps include dropping trash onto a conveyor belt to collect metal instruments that have been mixed amongst the recycled trash. Recycling facilities rely on these individuals to do what machines can’t, distinguishing between waste, paper, and everything in between.
Green Design Professionals
Vertical forest apartment buildings, pollution and smog-guzzling offices, this is the new normal around the world. So how are these high-tech solutions changing the environments around us and how do they work? Green design professionals are designing new and interesting designs for buildings in cities bogged down by air pollution. Today’s latest designs include vertical forest apartments and forest buildings. These tall structures come decorated with plants, that literally cover the entire building. The goal of these structures is to rid cities of nitrogen dioxide, CO2 and dirty air. These buildings can be found in Dubai, Mexico, and China. Green designers of the Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital in Mexico City, Mexico claim that their smog-killing design can absorb the effects of roughly 1,000 cars a day.
Wave Energy Producers
Let’s talk wave energy producers. No, they’re not the guys making whirls in the kiddy pool at the amusement parks. These guys are the real deal. Using a commercial-scale marine device, these individuals capture and produce energy from the power of the ocean. Located in Scotland’s Orkney Islands, the device produces enough energy to power 500 homes. Individuals aid the device by helping it spin in motion and generate energy which is transmitted through undersea cables. Because this energy source is less used, there aren’t many wave energy producers around the world, underlying the need and importance of their job.
More than just a park ranger, a forester is responsible for managing forests through conservation and development. These individuals work locally to ensure that forests aren’t being harmed or impacted in any negative way. This includes deforestation, extraction of raw materials, hunting, and other activities that may cause a detrimental impact on the plants and wildlife within the forest. In turn, foresters document the devastation and work to cultivate the agriculture and replace the damage. These individuals are the superheroes preserving life as we know it, fighting for the rights of the vegetation around us to provide better air quality and biodiversity for communities around the country.
These days everyone’s an entrepreneur. How about green entrepreneurs? Who are the individuals fighting to preserve and create a cleaner tomorrow? These days, green entrepreneurs account for approximately 11 million individuals in the United States alone. Want to create the next green app? Perhaps the next anti-pollution device? According to data by The Green Market, the market will reach $2.74 trillion by the year 2020. Many colleges across the country are implementing programs geared towards green entrepreneurship including health and sustainability programs at colleges including Stanford University and American University.
Hydrologists study and manage the way water is sourced and how it moves throughout the Earth’s crust. These individuals collect samples, conduct test, and measure levels to establish data around erosion, pollution, and drought. As we continue to face the effects of the world warming, including mass hurricanes and tropical storms, these individuals work to set parameters with local government entities to ensure the conservation of marine life. They collect soil samples to analyze its properties and how its changing and affecting the ocean around us.
In-vitro Meat Scientists
Can you imagine eating a hamburger that was completely made in a lab? Well that may be the future for your next happy meal. Using stem cells from a cow’s muscle tissue, scientists were able to develop lab-grown meat. The first burger was cooked and eaten in London. But scientists predict that lab grown burgers will soon be in restaurants and stores near you. The benefits of the developing the meat like this include reducing large amounts of greenhouse gas emission contributed by traditional farming methods to produce your favorite hamburger. In doing so, scientist hope to create a happy, healthier you, and a cleaner, greener earth.
Clean energy jobs are the key to creating a greener, more sustainable future for our planet. And according to a new survey, the backing for green energy is clear. In the largest survey of attitudes towards green energy ever conducted, 82% favour a world being fully powered by green energy. The support comes from all surveyed age groups, political standpoints, educational backgrounds and countries. The Green Energy Barometer, conducted by Edelman Intelligence, is based on interviews with more than 26,000 people across 13 countries.