“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed” -Mahatma Gandhi
Global warming, climate change, deforestation, pollution—these are just some of the slew of environmental concerns our modern world is now facing.
As of late, our environmental issues have become increasingly alarming, and our ecological state has so overwhelmingly deteriorated that if we do not do something about it, we run the risk of losing the only planet we have.
Just take stock of what is happening around you, and you will readily see the impact of climate change. Time after time, we hear of forests being razed to the ground by fires, melting polar ice caps, pollution of the air, water, and land, coral reefs whittling away.
With all these issues plaguing Mother Earth, it makes you wonder if indeed we humans are the root of the problem.
And if we are, we ought to do something about it.
We ought to address the damage that we ourselves caused.
We ought to have a concrete plan.
We ought to make that change.
And that change begins with us.
Ideally, volunteering for and donating to environmental organizations such as RAFI One to Tree is a concrete way to act. Moreover, volunteering for environmental organizations is a manifestation of your advocacy and commitment to ecological preservation. Volunteering, albeit a noble endeavor, is unfortunately not for everyone. While it is one of the best ways to address environmental issues, not everyone has the time nor the resources to volunteer. However, this does not mean that there is no other way for you to help.
Every act that you do in consideration of our planet—no matter how big or small—can already contribute to a significant change.
With our environmental issues becoming greater over time, we need to make adjustments and changes to our lifestyles if we wish to have future generations to live in. Let us start cleaning up our act now and be mindful of our carbon footprints. That said, let us begin advocating for movements and actions that help us save our only planet.
Sure, it may sound preachy, and for many, this is easier said than done. But with small changes that grow bigger in time, we can produce significant results.
So, if you wish to make a positive environmental impact on the world, here are some of the ways you can help:
One of the most minor lifestyle changes you can do that can already contribute to a significant and positive environmental impact is to stop buying single-use plastics. This means bringing reusable bottles or flasks in your bag with you wherever you go. You can make this a habit and cut your weekly bottle buying—saving hundreds of bottles from ending up in oceans or landfills every year. Keep in mind: even the smallest changes can already make a big difference.
Something that may seem inconsequential, such as turning off the tap while you are brushing your teeth or while you are soaping yourself, can already make a big and significant difference. Doing these can already save gallons of water per day. Just imagine the amount of water you can already save when multiplied by the number of people you have in your household. Another great way to conserve water is by reducing your shower time—even just shortening it by two minutes can already save more than ten gallons of water. Inspect your faucets and see if they are leaking to fix them immediately. Similarly, you may want to consider using a professional car wash in lieu of washing your car yourself. It may cost you more, but professional car washes typically use less water.
One of the ways you can Another way to help the planet is to reduce the amount of stuff you consume. That said, avoid waste by making a careful decision whether you should purchase an item or not. Avoid making unnecessary purchases by re-using old items instead, as this saves natural resources and energy needed to manufacture new ones. More importantly, you can save money as well.
While it is something we overlook, the amount of food and drinks you consume actually has an impact on the environment. To produce the food we eat, energy is required from resources such as water and soil, which are then used to process and package them. Moreover, fuel is used to transport these goods. Studies have shown that animal-based food items tend to use up more of these resources than their plant-based counterparts. With that in mind, choosing to eat fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and nuts is more sustainable for the environment—mainly especially if they are grown and sourced locally. Not to worry, however, as you do not have to give up your appetite for meat. Simply having one meatless day a week already counts as a good contribution to this movement.
Another thing that contributes largely to pollution is food waste. Unfortunately, food wastage that occurs at home accounts for half of the total food wastage. Keep in mind that wasted food ends up in landfills and produces methane, a greenhouse gas that traps heat from the sun and warms the planet. As food wastage continues to increase exponentially, these gases increase as well, making the planet warmer than it already is. Having said that, it is imperative that each household should have proper food storage, meal planning, and smart shopping plans in place.
Contrary to what most people believe, reducing your carbon footprint can be done even with the smallest of efforts. An excellent example of this is taking a walk or cycling for short journeys in lieu of taking the car out. Alternatively, you and your family may opt to carpool or share a ride with a colleague to work as this saves gas.
While you can join non-governmental organizations such as RAFI One to Tree to volunteer for a native tree-planting program, you may also opt to plant trees in your background. Young trees can absorb CO2 at a rate of 5 kilograms per tree every single year, and when it matures, it can absorb up to 21 kilograms per year. Also, trees remove nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and other small particles, which makes the air we breathe fresh and healthy for us.
RAFI One to Tree makes growing trees easy—with your donation, we grow native trees on your behalf. The trees we plant help restore our lost forest cover, sequester carbon dioxide to fight climate change, and preserve biodiversity in our ecosystem.
Alternatively, you can save trees by reducing the paper you use. Go paperless for your bills and newsletters. Use e-tickets so that you will never need to print out anything ever again. Similarly, use online directories, do away with printed newspapers, and go digital.
More often than not, a concrete change requires a deep understanding of what is happening around us. Knowing the root of the problem helps us address it better. That said, take the initiative to learn more about environmental concerns such as climate change, global warming, pollution, and the like. Become even more involved by joining discussions about environmental endeavors and help others understand the value of our planet and our natural resources. Also, be a good role model yourself—especially to the youth and your kids. Walk the talk in your everyday life and make substantial lifestyle changes.
With all the suggestions above, you can help make this world better for future generations. More importantly, you can make it a better place for us to live in.