Earth Day is a reminder that our environment is threatened and we should get inspired to do something about it. There are still the over-optimistic types who insist that it’s a lot of fuss about nothing, or that science will find the answers. If you really care about the Earth, or people for that matter, you know we can’t afford to stand around and hope for the best. Here are five major environmental threats and what you do about them.
Overall temperatures around the world have been on the rise for years now. While the measurement in degrees is small, it still means melting icecaps, rising seas, erratic weather, and the ultimate destruction of many species. The main culprit seems to be greenhouse gases. You can do your part by taking steps to conserve energy and fuels to lower production of these gases.
Trees across the world’s forests play an essential part in taking contaminants out of the air. The world’s forests and jungles are disappearing at an alarming rate as more trees are cut down to provide agricultural land, paper products, and timbers for building. Start using reclaimed wood or sustainable materials like bamboo and recycled cardboard and paper. It’s also a good idea to support any efforts to plant new trees.
Vehicle and industrial fumes permeate our air and drift around the world, while our own trash seeps into the soil as land contamination. In some urban centers like Mexico City and L.A., the air can even be dangerous to breathe on bad smog days. Support efforts to introduce cleaner emission standards. Promote recycling programs at home and at work to reduce the amount of garbage.
Every species in the world plays a part in its own ecosystem. But many of them are dying off, which can disrupt entire food chains. Vanishing creatures like common bees are important to agriculture. Some of the major causes are loss of natural habitats and the use of pesticides. Do your part to support wildlife conservation efforts, organic solutions, and reforestation.
Dead Zones at Sea
Pollution and over-fishing are also having an alarming impact on our oceans. Species are vanishing there, too. Along our coasts, there are numerous regions where there isn’t enough oxygen left in the water to support life.
The biggest contributor to this is run-off from chemical fertilizers and hydrocarbons. To help, you can take an active role in opposing the use of these compounds, and volunteering for clean-up whenever chemical or oil spills threaten our shores.
Another troubling factor is the soaring human population on our planet. More people add up to more garbage and more demand on the environment. That also makes it more important that all of us do our part to protect it