Twenty-five years ago, nearly 2000 respected scientists issued a warning about human impact on the planet and Earth’s ability to continue sustaining the type of lifestyles people have become accustomed to. The warning included several areas where improvement was necessary and, to date, one of those areas has seen improvement: depletion of the ozone layer. Sadly, the other areas of concern have only gotten worse and today, over 15,000 scientists have joined forces to reinforce those earlier concerns: climate change and mass extinction.
What are some of the environmental causes you should put your efforts behind? Check out this list of five as a starting point.
1. Reduce Food Waste
Unfortunately, many modern food production efforts have negative environmental impacts. For example, large scale raising of cattle and sheep has a significant effect on the environment. About 40% of the earth’s surface is used to provide food and about 70% of that space is used to raise animals, requiring a huge percentage of the planet’s water (about a third). In some areas of the world, huge amounts of land are required to provide meat with appropriate amounts of protein. Additionally, raising meat leads to higher levels of greenhouse-gas emissions.
This is just one example of how food production negatively impacts the environment. A closer look at other farming, manufacturing, and distribution methods will also reveal harmful behaviors. Scientists aren’t necessarily advocating changes in how people eat, but they are stressing a wiser consumption of food products.
2. Purchase Green Products
Twenty years ago, many consumers took a closer look at the type of hair spray they were using and many of those chose to buy products that didn’t rely on CFCs. Those purchases prompted changes in the way businesses manufactured their products. A concerted effort to buy any products from companies that have demonstrated positive environmental practices will continue to have a positive impact on the earth.
3. Spend Time Outdoors
the forest, in a green park, on a beach, and in other outside environments offers many wonderful health benefits, including a stronger memory, stress relief, decreased inflammation, improved focus and concentration, sharper thinking, and the reduced risk of cancer. As people head outside and begin to appreciate their interaction with nature, it’s more likely that policy makers will direct funding toward nature reserves, green spaces, and natural habitats.
These spaces need protection for the well-being of humans and the planet. Don’t forget that forests play a huge role in absorbing harmful greenhouse gases. Today, many companies work to make sure they leave a positive impact when moving forward with their work, based on studies such as the one prompting the discussions on Cadiz Water Project twitter.
4. Address Today’s Mass Extinction
It can be an awe-inducing fact that more than 90 percent of the organisms that once lived on earth no longer exist. New species evolve and adapt to changes in ecology. As this happens, older species die out. Some of the major causes for this are volcanic eruptions, asteroid collisions, global warming and cooling, and methane eruptions. Today, many scientists are worried that a sixth mass extinction is taking place driven by pollution, overfishing, and land clearing.
5. Invest in Green Technology
Rather than relying on fuel-based energy, it’s time to focus on renewable energy sources. Fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum, have been traditional sources of energy. It’s time to invest more heavily in hydropower, solar energy, biofuels and wind energy.
The good news is that the initial warning prompted positive changes, such as reducing the use of chlorofluorocarbons, that resulted in stopping up the hole that had been growing in the ozone layer. Today, the hole is closing, and the once-rising trend of new skin cancer cases has seen a substantial slow down. This positive move is a real-life example that improvements can be made on a large scale when individuals and society are committed to action.