4 Actions You Can Take to Help Save the World (Literally)
“Go Green” you hear it all the time, but WHY should it be important to you?
Well, here it is - scientists have indicated that earth is currently enduring the sixth greatest mass extinction in history, known as The Holocene Extinction and it is being caused by human activity. Let’s put this in perspective, the last mass extinction took place 65 million years ago and it was caused by an uncontrollable source such as an asteroid or comet. Mass extinctions are characterized by the loss of at least 75% of species within a geologically short period of time and this mass extinction is happening faster than they ever expected.
There was a study completed which published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, states that the massive loss of wildlife is a “biological annihilation” that denotes a “frightening assault on the foundations of human civilization”. Even Prof. Gerardo Ceballos who led the study said, “The situation has become so bad it would not be ethical not to use strong language.”
If you are a human then, YES, “going green” is important!
EVERY PERSON, EVERY FAMILY, EVERY COMMUNITY, EVERY COMPANY, and EVERY GOVERNMENT has to change because our lives and our children’s lives are literally dependent on it. It’s time to get into the fight to make those changes.
You're just one person, so where do you start? Below I share some tips and environmental facts, so slap a cape on, and get ready to be a SUPER saver for mother earth and even possibly, your wallet!
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
1) Contact Your Senator and Congressman
Global warming is real. Yes, it may be part of a natural environmental cycle, but human activity and consumption isn’t helping. Congress will not act on climate until the public demands action. So, DEMAND it - this can be a simple email (5-10 minutes) or copy this Climate Change Letter to demand more political action on climate change. This can be to ensure companies and state governments are required to recycle or that residential recycling is offered as a free state service. If you see a problem, demand a solution; then motivate your friends and family to do the same thing.
No, email by itself, may not lead your member to act — but when an email is part of a mix that includes other messages, phone calls, lobby visits, letters to the editor, and social media mentions, its impact is compounded. Tip: Take a picture in your area of trash that may be in oceans, rivers, lakes and/or forests, include environmental floods, forest fires, and air pollution. Tag your senator and congressman with a hashtag of #ActOnClimate.
“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”
― Ansel Adams
2) Plant Something Often
Trees: Humans rely on nature – our existence is paramount on natures existence, especially green environments. We all know that humans need oxygen to live. A human breathes about 9.5 tonnes of air in a year, but oxygen only makes up about 23 percent of that air, by mass, and we only extract a little over a third of the oxygen from each breath. That works out to using the oxygen produced by seven or eight trees a year. Planting trees is an essential component of slowing climate change before temperatures rise to dangerous levels. So go plant some trees with the knowledge each person needs about 7-8 trees a year, fires and deforestation are destroying forests daily, not everyone is planting trees but thousands of people are born daily, and the trees you plant must be adaptable to your climate environment.
You don’t need to go to Lowe’s or Home Depot to buy $30 trees to plant. There are some foundations and organizations that provide free trees throughout the year to help with deforestation – you just have to look.
Gardens: This is pretty straight forward. Green environments, vegetable gardens, and flower gardens support bees. Bees are needed to pollinate, helping plants grow, breed and produce food. Bees help support one-third of our global food supply. Scientists believe that bees are dying quickly due to a decrease in habitat options, pesticides, and climate change. I know the last thing we want to do is plant a Bee Friendly garden. The suggestion is to plant the flowers further away from your living environment.
Stop using chemical pesticides on your gardens and flowers. Birds eat the bugs killed by pesticides, birds die and/or are eaten by another animal, that animal will die or get sick due to the pesticide, etc. Some pesticides are linked to killing humans, so they will have detrimental damage to bees, birds, etc. which is causing a bigger problem. Tip: Find homemade organic remedies to control garden pests. Many remedies, of which, tend to be cheaper than a laboratory manufactured, chemically engineered remedy and many times prove to be just as affective.
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
― Chinese proverb
3) Reduce Waste
There are hundreds of things you can do to reduce waste. I'll write a more detailed article on this at a later time, however, it comes down to the three things we were taught growing up - reduce, reuse and recycle.
10 Simple Tips to Remember:
1) Don’t buy anything you can borrow.
2) Don’t buy anything that can’t be recycled.
3) Don’t buy anything new, if you can find it used and in good working order.
4) Shop organic and local, as much as possible.
5) Go on a plastic diet. Reduce the personal use of plastics, as much as possible.
6) Reduce the need to use motor transportation. Request to telework once a week, set up transportation strategies to run weekly errands, carpool, etc.
7) Designate a no-drive and/or no-buy weekend each month.
8) Recycle everything you use, as much as possible.
9) Reduce water and electric consumption
10) Prepare to be inconvenienced. Bring food, water, and snacks in reusable containers.
4) Meatless Meals
Ok, I’m not saying you have to turn full-blown vegan, but adopting a more plant-based diet can help the environmental impacts from the industrial food system.
The average American consumes about 182 pounds of meat annually! That is a crazy amount when it is summed up annually.
Did you know that 44-57% of all global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are caused by the industrial food system?
Meat products have a larger carbon footprint per ounce than grain or vegetable products. Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water. By cutting down on meat, even for 1 day a week, you can reduce your GHG emissions up to 15% annually.
Wait?! Why are GHG levels important? Reducing greenhouse gases could lead to a reduction in air pollutants saving lives and reducing climate change. When everyone eats less meat it reduces the demand, which can have a global impact.
Join the fight for your life and our world.
It starts with each and every one of us doing our part and encouraging those in our communities to do their part too. These are just topics that scratch the surface, there are many topics that can be discussed and implemented to help save our beautiful planet.