More than 80 percent of the Earth’s natural forests have been destroyed. Up to 90 percent of West Africa’s coastal rain forests have disappeared since 1900. Brazil and Indonesia, which contain the world’s two largest surviving regions of rainforest, are being stripped at an alarming rate by logging, fires, and land-clearing for agriculture and cattle-grazing. These statistics, written by National Geographic, are alarming and leave us to ask ourselves, “What have we done and what can we do to fix it?”
What have we done?
Humans are a superior race. We find ourselves at the top of the food chain and don’t need to answer to any other creature except for ourselves. This can lead us to participate in the most dangerous activities for our environment, as we don’t see these activities directly affecting our lives or lifestyle. Well, now we see it. An interesting article by mid-day.com lists the dangerous activities we are doing that endanger our environment.
We may assume that water pollution is only caused by people throwing trash into our ocean or tossing a cigarette butt out the window while driving. Wrong. There are many chemicals that we use in day to day life, like cleaning materials and bug repellents, that no matter how we dispose of these chemicals they will still end up in the ocean. Using less-harsh chemical cleaners and turning towards a simple water and soap method will help the environment.
Today, almost everything is electronic. I even take notes on my phone these days instead of using a notepad and pencil. Which, is great for saving paper and trees! But, if you don’t dispose of your electronic devices properly, it can be twice as harming. Things such as batteries, CD’s, DVD’s should all be properly disposed and separated from normal trash as well as larger PC’s, keyboards, and anything else electrical.
We see grocery stores start to cut down on their plastic use, which is a great first of many steps! Everyone should know by now that plastic is not biodegradable. According to mid-day.com, it can take between 400 to 1,000 years for plastic to break down in the environment. In the meantime, it just gets smaller and smaller making it easily disguised in soil and food. The less plastic we use, the better!
Do you know what happens when you run electricity in your home? It flows through to power plants. Do you know what the biggest polluters on the planet are? You guessed it- Power plants! It’s an easy equation: The less electricity you use, the less electricity flows through to the power plants and the less pollution leaves the power plant. By making sure all the lights are off when you leave, closing the doors to rooms to keep them cooler or warmer, and opening a window instead of turning the air conditioning on would all be saving electricity.
What can we do to fix it?
There are many things that we can do to fix this tragedy. First things first, is we can cut down on all the above-mentioned activities. If we reduce our electricity use, stop using so much plastic and recycle the plastic items we do use, make sure to recycle all our dead electronics, and stop using so many chemical cleaners, we can already make such a positive turn to the better. On top of those, we can go the extra mile and really help the environment. There is an article by DNA that lists some bigger activities that will help with protecting our environment.
This, in my opinion, is the most important activity we can do. The first step to making anything better to is to let everyone be aware of the situation. This isn’t just about letting your friends and colleagues know, but if you have children you should set good examples for them. Teach them at a young age how to conserve energy, recycle, and use more non-toxic items around the house.
Use public transport
A big part of our pollution comes from our automobiles. If we cut back on using them, then that reduces the air pollution. And with traffic here in Southern California, using public transportation has its perks! Think about those long drives from work in traffic. Now, think of long rides in a train or the Metro, where you can kick your legs up and take a nap (don’t forget to wake up for your stop!). Try using public transportation today, tomorrow, or the day after. See how you like it! And remember, that you are also helping the environment!
The 5 R’s
The ultimate 5 “R’s” for environment conservation are refuse, reduce, reuse, renew, and recycle. These are all pretty self-explanatory. You can refuse to use certain chemical items that are bad for the environment, refuse to use your car to drive to work and take public transportation instead, refuse to throw away your plastic bottle and instead find a recycling center for it. You can reduce the chemical items that you use and reduce the amount of electricity and water that you waste. You can reuse plastic bags at the grocery store and reuse plastic forks and knives. There are air filters in your car that you can renew that will make the air filtering process more efficient and you can renew your light bulbs to be energy efficient. You can recycle just about everything: plastic, cans, glass, electronics, etc. Just by being aware and taking action, you can be an active user of the 5 R’s.
Last, but just as important as spreading awareness, publicise your efforts!! What better way to lead a great example than posting your conservation activities on social media or posting ways to help your environment. Are you looking to give away gifts to your community? Giveaway eco-friendly gifts that teach them that helping the environment is important! At AnyPromo, we have mini boxes with seeds so your colleagues and community can plant their own flowers and plants. We have journals that are eco-friendly and made out of recycled cardboard. We have thousands of products that are all under our eco-friendly category. Check them out! It’s a great way to spread awareness on how to protect our environment.
Step by step, we can make a difference. We aren’t hurting our planet on purpose, we just aren’t thinking about the bigger picture here. The more people that know and understand the problems that are going on, the more we can do to help! Always, always, always spread awareness! Any chance that you get, make sure you spread the word on what people can to do to help. It doesn’t take much effort, but it makes all the difference.
Happy World Environment Day!