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The big change encompasses our own lives and that of the ecosystem.
For the past few years, I have been keeping up with the drastic consequences of global warming on our dear Earth.
It has affected us: the Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that the health effects of global warming are “increased respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographical distribution of food- and water-borne illnesses and other infectious diseases, and threats to mental health.”
It has affected the ecosystem: the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) states that “global warming stresses ecosystems through temperature rises, water shortages, increased fire threats, drought, weed and pest invasions, intense storm damage and salt invasion, just to name a few.”
It has affected everything. And, perhaps, I am not in a strong, authoritative position to make big decisions that could impact entire countries and vast acres of forests, but even with the small power I have (and you have), I can make a big impact on the planet.
If only we all shift our mindset in a way that could be of benefit to the planet, we can make a change that will make our Earth breathe again.
Isn’t it sad that during the pandemic the Earth was happier, greener, and healthier? Isn’t it sad that instead of our presence taking care of it, our absence became of greater benefit?
Let’s think about a few things we can do, each small person on this big planet, to help our Earth breathe again:
1. Drive less.
Yes, we all know that cars that use gas to work pollute the air. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, “The vapors given off when gasoline evaporates and the substances produced when gasoline is burned (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and unburned hydrocarbons) contribute to air pollution. Burning gasoline also produces carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.”
I know we have jobs to go to that may be far enough from our houses, so we can start incorporating public transportation in our days. And if we have to visit the store that’s close enough to our house, we can either bike or walk. And I mean think of it: gas prices are shooting up, so it’s a win-win situation.
2. Don’t litter.
I’m not just talking about papers and plastic waste being thrown on the road. Clean up after your pets. Don’t throw cigarettes on the gravel road, in the bushes, or anywhere other than an ashtray. Why smoke in the first place?
According to London Fire Brigate, “Cigarettes dropped on dry grass that have not been properly extinguished are very likely to cause a grass fire. Even cigarettes thrown from a car window can start a fire. Many roads are banked by or near to grassland, and these can be easily set on fire by a cigarette when dried out.”
3. Conserve water.
Do you keep the water running while brushing your teeth? Close the faucet until you actually have to use the water. According to NRDC, “Saving water reduces carbon pollution, too. That’s because it takes a lot of energy to pump, heat, and treat your water.”
4. Avoid plastic.
You’ve heard this so many times before, but it cannot be said enough. Make a decision to remove something made of plastic every week from your life; it could be plastic cups, plates, bags, packing materials, bottles, and so on. Try replacing them with environment friendly alternatives.
5. Get active.
Participate in events where you get to clean beaches and roads. It is much easier to make a greater and faster change when all of us get active hand in hand. You can even inform people of such events, prompting them to get educated about climate change and how important it is for us to start spreading the word.
There are so many things we must do to protect future generations and show Earth our love, like not killing bees, paying attention to what we eat, decreasing our use of paper made from cut-down trees…
Please do share a few things you do to protect the planet on a daily basis in the comments!