Today’s topic focuses on the art of practicing sustainable practices and why it is beneficial. Today is April 22, 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic, there is still triumph in celebrating Earth Day.
Why should we even practice sustainability or even care about the earth? Over the decades, the earth has been exposed to issues including climate change, deforestation, pollution, global warming, industrial and household waste build up, and many more endangering wildlife and humanity. According to the Conservation International Foundation (CIF),
The world is on course for a 3.7-4.8°C temperature increase by 2100, which would cause catastrophic and irreparable damage – wiping away coastlines and turning our forests into savannahs.Conservation International Foundation, https://www.conservation.org/
CIF explains , “Eleven percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans are caused by deforestation — comparable to the emissions from all of the cars and trucks on the planet.” Practicing sustainability is important in protecting and maintaining a healthy earth to live in.
Growing up, you’re taught the fundamentals of life. You hear over and over again, practice good hygiene, obey the law, reduce, reuse, recycle and all the other basic principles. But how many of those principles have we truly researched, explored or continuously practice throughout our lifetime? How many of us even know how important it is to practice sustainability. There are so many organizations that advocate healthy, sustainable practices that everyone can do to help our planet.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains,
Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.United States Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/sustainability/
Earth Day Network initiated its first Earth Day in 1970, the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement. Since then, they’ve mobilized 1 billion people “with more than 75,000 partners in over 190 countries to drive positive action for our planet (earthday.org).” There are so many organizations like Earth Day Network fighting for our planet. Find out what your local community is doing (or not doing). Google is just a question away from answering all your environmental questions.
So you’ve decided you want to save the earth, but don’t know how. Here are some simple steps to practice sustainability and protect the earth in your life:
Minimize waste. Having a good waste management ethic reduces the amount of build up harboring the planet. Buy what you need. Recycle used packaging or use reusable bags while shopping.
Use less plastic. Plastic can release harmful chemicals into the environment. “Some plastics we know are toxic, which is also known as PVC or vinyl. PVC contains phthalates and heavy metals, and creates dioxins when it burns (Ecology Center).” Humans don’t eat plastic, so why should we let animals and plants eat them?
Reduce your carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is the amount of gas and emission you are emitting into the atmosphere. Do this by carpooling with friends and changing modes of transportation like biking, switching to hybrid/electric vehicles.
Be energy efficient. This ties in with reducing your carbon footprint by using less electricity, or switching to energy efficient appliances and products like investing in solar energy. Many power plants contribute to the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the air.
Buy eco-friendly. Purchase products and support organizations that practice sustainability.
Advocate. This one is easy. Just spread the word about sustainability and your intentions in helping the earth. Get a couple of friends to join an environmental movement, or create your own. The first step to saving the earth is changing our world’s mindset.
Make everyday Earth Day! We may not live to see the full impact of our sustainable efforts, but we are definitely going to see an impact in the next decade. It’s your choice whether or not you want to contribute to saving the earth. You don’t have to go out and move mountains right now, but go ahead and appreciate the earth today. What a lucky place to be.