With summers seemingly getting longer and hotter, and more turbulent weather than we have ever experienced on record, it’s no wonder people are thinking about the climate. However, our impact on the environment goes a lot deeper than we might imagine. Here are the major crises we’re facing and what we can do about them.
We have a growing plastic crisis
Pollution is a huge issue right now and plastics are one of the greatest contributors to that issue. Out of all the plastic we use, we use 50% once before throwing it away. This has led to billions of pounds of plastic floating in over 40% of the ocean’s surface. Green businesses are turning away from plastics, such as no longer using or selling plastic straws, or offering renewable materials for packaging. Changing how we consume could make a huge dent in the plastic pollution we produce.
We’re endangering our ecosystem
An estimated 150-200 species go extinct every 24 hours. We may not notice many of them, but almost everyone is noticing that bees are dying at an alarming rate. Bees have become the de-facto mascot of our growing biodiversity issue. As we encroach on the natural environment more and use pesticides and fertilizer, our native pollinators are some of the species at greatest risk. However, The Unfolding Earth highlights some examples of how you can create a safe haven for your own environment’s wildlife in your own garden.
We’re poisoning our water
The use of pesticide and fertilizer impact not only the animals around us, but the water we drink, too. Furthermore, as WHQR shows, there are more and more reports surfacing about highly dangerous contaminants like GenX being found in our water supplies thanks to unregulated chemicals in industrial use. Besides limiting your own use of chemicals that can infiltrate our groundwater, you can make sure you and your family have safer water to drink and cook using reverse osmosis filters on your sinks.
We might even be making hurricanes worse
There is proof to suggest that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were made worse thanks to our own impact on the water. Rising water levels and temperatures may have played a part in the devastation of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. A year later, these communities are still rebuilding thanks to the efforts of volunteers and local businesses like Cane Bay Partners starting initiatives to provide generators, clean drinking water, and more. While doing our part to reduce our use of the resources that play a hand in climate change, it’s important to donate what time and money we can to rebuild, too.
Our forests keep shrinking
A major contributor to not only the shrinking biodiversity of our ecosystems but also climate change, deforestation continues to represent a growing threat to life on Earth as we know it. As One Green Planet shows, one of the efforts taken to combat this is volunteer vacations to rainforests around the world that include protecting endangered species and helping to study the impact of logging.
It might all seem like doom and gloom. Individually, we can only contribute a little towards decreasing the impact we’re making on the planet. However, by being informed, we can be more aware of the greater change we can affecting when it comes to how we vote towards environmentally-friendly policy.