It was about forty years ago when the first Earth Day was recognized and celebrated. However, until now, the earth has gotten dirtier, water scarcer, and the ozone layer more prone to danger more than ever. The environmental problems have only become magnified and increased in number – by a hundredfold. In fairness to most individuals, including families, friends, and the government including, we have done our part in improving the environment and increasing awareness about these environmental issues.
For this year’s Earth Day, we’re focusing and giving the spotlight on some of the most pressing environmental problems that have been affecting us nowadays. We will also include some tips on what we can do to help fix our ecosystem and restore balance in this awesome place we call earth – our home.
Undeniably, climate change is inevitable, which most people blame on greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, the government is also blamed for not strictly implementing a strong policy that avoids the use of fossil fuels, instead of utilizing sustainable forms of energy. Because of this, the earth is vulnerable to wildfires, floods, heat waves, and droughts now more than ever. When these calamities happen, perhaps the public will be more assertive in expressing their fears and worries to the policymakers and ask them to act immediately before it’s too late.
Tip: Your cars and other transportation are one of the causes of greenhouse gas emissions. You may help by not driving every day. Try biking or walking. Aside from doing your part to slow down climate change, you’re also helping yourself stay fit and healthy! But if you must use a vehicle, go electric instead.
The most predominant kind of pollution is air pollution, which is a second close to climate change. Air pollution is also a result of the same gas emissions that lead to global warming, as in climate change. These emissions create hazy, dirty conditions in the big cities around the world. China is among the big cities that are endangering its residents by the mountains of smog and fog that circulate in the country. But if you think the smog is exclusive only to Beijing and the whole of China, then you’re wrong. Scientists have discovered that the air pollution brought by the Chinese is further escalating the storms in the Pacific Ocean and contributing to the unpredictable weather in America as well.
On the other hand, other forms of pollution are equally hazardous, such as water pollution and soil pollution. The Natural Resources Defense Council revealed that dirty water is among the world’s greatest health risks. Additionally, soil contamination through toxic metals, pesticides, and fertilizers endangers food security and is a leading health risk to almost all populations worldwide.
Tip: To minimize pollution, efforts in decreasing the use of fuel and using the alternative green energy is one solution.
The problem of water supply increases as the population increases. Freshwater is only 3%, and there are approximately 1 billion people who need access to it. Water scarcity is not only a problem in developing countries, as revealed in the state of California where droughts are inevitable. The projection is that by mid-century, over one-third of the countries in the lower 48 states will have been at a greater risk of water shortage.
Tip: Replacing the usual faucets with low flow ones would be one of the simple ways you can help in your way. Also, it is recommended that lawn irrigation is done in the mornings or evenings when the air is cooler and lesser evaporation occurs. Fixing leaks, turning off the sink when not in use, and taking shorter baths are more solutions that are easy to do.
Forests, as we all should know by now, play an important role in balancing our ecosystem and preventing many disasters from easily destroying the earth. It helps mitigate climate change as they absorb CO2, which harms the environment and heightens global warming. But currently, 15% of the gas emissions originated from deforestation. Tree cutting has endangered many animal species and even humans who are dependent on forests so they can thrive. Over the past 50 years, the Amazon rainforest lost 17% of its trees because of the booming cattle ranch business.
Tip: The government has implemented the No Plastic Policy in malls and other major stores to boycott the use of tree materials. Using paper towels are also discouraged.
The improvement of industrial agriculture has had a major impact on clean and healthy land preservation. This has resulted in soil degradation, which consequently led to water pollution and clogged waterways. As per the records from the World Wildlife Fund, about 50% of the earth’s soil has been eroded and lost over the last 150 years.
Tip: As improvements in agriculture are supported, there should also be ways that are made to avoid its ill effects. Sustainable agriculture enables both the planet and the people to benefit. In your little way, you can also help by using non-toxic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.