Ten Ways For You To Contribute To Environmental Sustainability

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Environmental Sustainability

Is Climate-Change Real?

Environmentalists are often seen as extremists.  Companies make millions on sustainable technologies that they claim will decrease the effects of climate-change. Consumers use plastics numerous times a day, despite the warnings about how plastics destroy our oceans and nature. They also snack on foods that contain unsustainable palm-oil, and eat from factory farming take-out franchises that harvest cows, chickens and pigs as though they were stars in the sky – never-ending and always there.

Is climate-real? is a question on the minds of many. The extremists will tell you it is. The companies benefitting from the sales of sustainable technologies will tell you it is. Those who don’t care about plastics, who eat foods with unsustainable palm-oil, and who eat from drive-thrus each day will tell you it’s not.

So – What’s The Problem?

You see, as humans we make up our own minds. We go with what works for us as individuals. Whatever doesn’t work for us, we give it a label like ‘extremist’ or ‘money-making scam’. However, when it comes to climate-change and caring for the environment, we find that most information is based on facts not opinions.

The planet is a living organism just like you are. It goes through cycles of growth and death just like we do. A simple question to ask would be, “Would you allow your six-year-old child to sit with you in a smoky nightclub and be force-fed tequila?” If your answer is ‘yes’ then there’s no hope for the planet as far as you’re concerned! If your answer is ‘no’ then thank goodness, because it’s people like you who are able to see the metaphor behind this scenario; that although our planet looks like it is thriving, actually we are holding it at ransom, force-feeding it with undesirable toxins, subjecting it to emissions that will literally stop it from breathing.

Non-believers don’t believe simply because they cannot see the changes. The sun still shines, we still have food and money and life is great. But they’re not looking close enough. Perhaps to them the world is photo-shopped so well that they can’t see the flaws. But that’s okay – there are enough people like us looking closely, and we will be the ones to make a difference.

But how can we make a difference in our daily lives, and will it really help? If only one or two people follow these points, maybe it won’t. But if many people do, it will make a world of difference.

 

Ten Ways For You To Contribute To Environmental Sustainability

1 – As often as possible, avoid purchasing anything that cannot be recycled.

While this is very hard to do, you can make choices that will help even if indirectly. A really simple example would be the use of a hand-sanitizer. Instead of purchasing a new hand-sanitizer bottle each time, rather keep your original bottle and refill it from a bulk sachet. Always check your labels for the recycle logo.

2 – Stop being lazy – make your own lunch!

Drive-thru franchises are perhaps the largest industry contributing to climate-change-related problems on our planet. Not only are there little or no animal-welfare standards in place for many of these farms, the amount of animal-feed grown around the planet takes up about 50% of the habitable land. While some nations starve without a single slice of bread, it makes no sense to produce this much animal-feed for those who simply prefer the convenience of a drive-thru meal. Besides that, methane gases from livestock contribute greatly to greenhouse gases.

3 – Be healthy.

It is very difficult to find snack foods without palm-oil. But what are you choosing to snack on? The palm-oil industry literally profits off the destruction of forests, in order to open-up land for palm-fruit trees. The less forests on the planet, the less oxygen we have to breathe. One might say, “There are many trees, we can lose a few.” However, even if this is the case, the moral issue of destroying many species living habitat to make palm-oil is an important one.  Rather choose healthy snacks that do not use palm-oil, or at least those with a ‘sustainable palm-oil’ stamp of approval.

4 – Walk the walk.

Every time you walk in nature or on the beach, be sure to take a bag with you to collect any rubbish you might find. Even if you only collect a small bag of rubbish, you will have prevented the effects of this amount of waste from affecting our environment.

5 – Plant more trees.

Trees use carbon-dioxide to grow. In return they produce oxygen. Planting more trees can help to reduce the amount of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere, thus bringing atmospheric gases back into balance. The act of planting a tree is also very rewarding; something fun for kids and adults to do on a beautiful day!

6 – Keep your vehicle clean.

Cars make emissions that are often unavoidable; even electric vehicles that do not directly emit gases when in use contribute to gas emissions in the atmosphere through their production and maintenance. However, you can keep your car ‘clean’ by following the steps in this article: 11 Ways to Cut Your Driving Emissions.

7 – Stop using poisons.

There is a solution to every problem, and not all of them involve chemicals. The use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers in your garden or around your home (even rodent poisons) can be deadly – not only for you but for the environment as well. There is always an organic option, and in the case of rodents a ‘humane option’. Do not fall for clever marketing tricks that state a certain product is ‘safe’. Do your research by finding out more about the ingredients in any product you buy, to ensure it won’t have a harmful effect.

8 – Consider your home’s lighting.

How can a light-bulb harm the environment, you may ask? The most obvious ways have to do with their mercury content as well as how much electricity is needed to make them shine. Remember, where electricity is produced via coal; the more power needed to charge an appliance or bulb, the more electricity needs to be produced, resulting in increased coal emissions. The best lighting to use in any home is LED. If you can equip your home with LED lighting, you’ll be making a world of difference.

9 – Support local or make it yourself.

When you need that perfect gift for a special occasion, consider supporting your local crafters or choose to make a gift from recycled items. While buying expensive plastic gifts might not sound like a way to contribute to the greenhouse problem, keep in mind that the factories and materials used to make these items are great contributors. Finding ideas for recycled gifts is easy. For example, Pinterest is a platform used by hundreds of crafters worldwide who share their creations for others to copy.  And should someone feel your gift is not good enough, you can give them this article to read!

10 – Stop procreating unnecessarily!

As touchy a subject as this is, without a doubt lessening the number of humans on the planet is one of the best ways to save it. If you are going to have children, keep a maximum of two. Yes, this might sound drastic and such a statement may cause great debate, but consider everything one human needs to continue through life. With over seven-billion humans on the planet, is it fair to expect the planet to provide for more and more when it struggles to provide for those who already exist? Family is important, but keeping it intimate between just three or four of you is priceless! While entertainers like Miley Cyrus are not held in high-esteem by everyone, she does have a point!

How Hard Can It Be?

In conclusion, while there are a number of industries profiting off the so-called ‘climate-change-hype’, this is no reason to believe that climate-change is ‘just a hype’ (as some presidents may wish to think) at all. As it stands, even in a natural sense, the time for the Earth to complete a cycle is now, which means that regardless of who says we are causing it, there are drastic changes happening. Without a doubt we are contributing to this cycle ending faster and more dramatically than it should. And because we are contributors we should at least attempt to fix things wherever we can; a sort of apology and payback for the sheer beauty that this beautiful planet has offered to us unconditionally since time began.

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