Climate Change and Pollution | What Can You Do?
Our earth’s habitats and wildlife are deteriorating at an astoundingly alarming rate, and it’s our fault. What can you and I do to try to create a positive impact on the environment? Fortunately, there are many different options for things to do in order to reduce your carbon footprint.
One major way you can help the environment, is by planting trees. Our forests are being destroyed at an overwhelming pace, taking the homes of countless animals with them. Because their natural habitat is being destroyed, these animals resort to more and more desperate actions for food. It is not uncommon to see deer in the middle of a city anymore, or bears near campsites looking for food. Planting trees replaces some of the lost habitats that we took from these creatures. Seeds don’t cost very much money, and plant easily. Wherever you can, plant a tree. We cannot necessarily replace them at the same rate as the deforestation, but it’s a start.
Have a Garden!
Planting a garden is another great way to live more green, and reduce waste. Plant food that you can sustain, and of course, eat! Beans, tomatoes, corn, melons, and other fruits and vegetables generally are easy to grow, and you can do so with little equipment. Many people choose to plant fruit trees on their property as well, such as pears, apples, oranges, lemons, or peaches. Gardens are especially good because they not only produce food for you and your family, but also reduce greenhouse gases in the air, like trees. Your fruit saves money as well, because you don’t have to pay the price at the market, and you have no pesticides in your food.
We throw out so much waste that our oceans have what are basically reefs, made out of plastic. You can reduce the amount of trash you contribute to landfills, and these vast, horrible, collections of filth. By sorting your trash into compost, you avoid at least adding that much to landfills, and it adds up over time. Compost is good for the environment because it returns nutrients from natural waste to the soil for plants and animals to feed on.
Another huge contributor to our earth’s abysmal ecological state, are single use products. You can use reusable containers and bags made out of natural materials to combat this. By using storage containers for your food that you can wash and re-use, you reduce your contribution to landfills every time you refill. The bags made out of natural materials will compost as well, avoiding the landfills and oceans. Reusable straws should be a part of your everyday routine if you use straws. Get a metal or glass straw that you can rinse and reuse. Straws are just one part of the 8 million metric tons of trash that finds its way to the ocean every year.
You can reduce your carbon footprint by simply reducing the amount of resources you use. Electricity is one of these resources. Power plants burn natural resources such as coal in order to power your home, workplace, and devices. When you are not using your electronic devices, be sure to unplug them. A device that is not powered on, but is still plugged into the wall, can still use electricity and damage the environment, while costing money. In the winter, put extra layers on, instead of turning the thermostat all the way up to reduce wasted energy. This saves money in the long run as well.
Use Eco-friendly Products!
Many of the everyday products we use are not Eco-friendly. Cleaning products are a major culprit in this. Most cleaning products in stores contain harsh, harmful chemicals that damage the ecosystem. Look for companies that use green practices and Eco-safe materials if you choose to buy from the store. You can also use items around the house as alternatives, and they much safer. Some safe alternative cleaning products you can use are:
- baking soda mixed with water
- lemon oil is a good polish, and lemon juice is good for cleaning wood
- olive oil (sparingly as furniture polish)
- cornflower for polishing furniture, starching clothes, and shampooing carpet
- tea-tree oil is a strong antiseptic and disinfectant
- even Coca-Cola!
Insect killers are another contributor to the harm caused to the environment. In stead of using harsh chemicals to kill insects, try scaring them away. The chemicals used to kill bugs can get back into the environment by way of other animals eating them and getting sick, as well as in the water. The bugs that you are killing are useful for the environment too, providing a waste cleanup service of sorts.
Do What You Can!
It is an undeniable fact that the Earth’s ecosystem is in dire straits. Humans have been polluting the planet’s oceans with trash, cutting down its forests, mining its resources at a rate that cannot be sustained, and putting pollution into the atmosphere. Humans have had a negative impact on literally every aspect of nature’s ecosystem and balance. With that being said, we need to do anything and everything we can to slow down this destruction, and leave a planet for our children to love and take care of. By doing the things seen above like planting trees, being self sufficient, and cleaning up the environment to the best of your abilities, you are doing your part to help the planet. Let’s start a movement and protect the vitality of our Earth.