How being environmentally conscious can help us ensure a sustainable future!
Why we need to be environmentally conscious and how we can ensure a sustainable future for the coming generations.
Do you ever think about how our lifestyle impacts our environment?
Now more than ever, it is crucial to protect our environment to reduce the destruction of eco-systems caused by a myriad of anthropogenic activities. It is more of a moral obligation for us, humans, to protect our environment from pollution and other activities that lead to environmental degradation. More importantly, environmental degradation is detrimental since it threatens humans' long-term health, animals, and plants.
In recent times, Australia has suffered from bushfires, flooding, air and water pollution, biodiversity issues, and global warming. These are just to name a few of the things we are facing right now, not only in Australia but also worldwide. It is everyone’s responsibility to take care of the environment to make this planet a wonderful place to live. One does not need to put a lot of money to go green but simple changes in daily lifestyle are all that is required to reduce your carbon footprint on the environment.
Here are some eye-opening facts:
- Intensive agriculture is affecting Australia's coasts and oceans, particularly estuaries and environments near the shore. Modelling predictions estimate that each year almost 19,000 tonnes of phosphorus and 141,000 tonnes of nitrogen are discharged to rivers flowing to the coast.
- Because of clearing agricultural land activities, around 13% of Australia's original vegetation has been removed since European settlement.
- Overgrazing is one of the main pressures on biodiversity in Australia. Grazing and various agricultural improvement strategies have modified vast areas of grasslands and open grassy woodlands. In temperate ecosystems, less than 2% of the original grasslands remain.
- Overfishing has already decreased part of Australia's fish stocks to dangerously low levels. Two major factors account for this problem; the fact that some areas have low biological productivity (and hence fish stocks do not regenerate quickly), along with intensive fishing efforts by commercial and recreational fisheries.
- When forests are cut, the salinity of the soil can greatly increase. As a result, saline water draining from such areas can affect downstream or downslope water quality. It is estimated that around 7% of the agricultural area of Western Australia is suffering from this problem following deforestation.
- It is estimated that Australia gains around 20 new pests or diseases each year. Some well-known examples include cane toads, rabbits, willows, and, more recently, black striped mussels and red fire ants.
- Of continuing concern for Australia is continued population growth along the coastline. Massive metropolitan centres' formation with increasing population density on Australia's coasts could displace much valuable biodiversity and ‘high-value’ agricultural land.
Why should be we environmentally conscious? Below are some of the reasons we should consider how our lifestyle/actions impact the environment.
- Biodiversity is a significant part of life in the world: Biodiversity not only consists of the animals living on earth but also the forests, grasslands, and tundra, which are significant features in maintaining the life-cycle of the eco-system.
- Protecting the environment protects humanity: Pollution is one of the most hazardous factors affecting the environment. It affects the quality of food leading to the ingestion of toxic substances.
- It is a way to give to your generation: One will be happier in life if you focus on giving rather than receiving. Treating the environment well is one way to give to the others in your generation. By treating the environment well, you make the planet a better place to live for everyone. You help yourself and others to have a higher quality of life.
- The environment is useful in maintaining the earth’s balance: Trees also have another way to beat the heat: absorb CO2 that fuels global warming. Plants need some CO2 for photosynthesis stored in wood, leaves, and soil, often for centuries. The forests equally absorb impurities from emissions.
- Environmental protection reminds us to appreciate nature's beauty: There is nothing quite like spending time in the forests to sightsee and enjoy a day filled with surprises that only nature can afford. The forest's visual splendour is one of the things that make the Earth especially stunning and unique.
- Humans have a moral obligation to preserve nature and its features: Humans are responsible for taking care of the environment. Protecting the environment would be an act of fulfilling their compulsions.
- The environment helps protect the ecosystem: Changes affecting the ecosystem put multiple species in danger of extinction, necessitating the need to protect the environment. Ecosystems are deeply connected to one another.
How can we reduce our carbon footprint and improve the environment?
- Buy less stuff! And buy used or recycled items whenever possible.
- Drive less. Walk, take public transportation, carpool, ride share or bike to your destination when possible. This reduces CO2 emissions, lessens traffic congestion and the idling of engines that accompanies it.
- Go economy class. Business class is responsible for almost three times as many emissions as the economy. In the economy class, the flight’s carbon emissions are shared among more passengers.
- Embrace a minimalist lifestyle. Declutter your home and donate unneeded items to charity. Buy, borrow or rent used clothing, electronics, house decorations and furniture, cars and other products whenever possible.
- Recycle as much as possible, even when travelling, and buy products with recycle-able/minimal packaging. Search online for ways to recycle hard-to-recycle items in your local community.
These are just some of the many things you can start doing today. At charityBay we believe in a sustainable future, download our app, and start making an impact today.
Interesting, isn't it? We recommend two books that cover this topic and other important aspects, along with helpful tips and advice. Written by Erin Rhoads, Erin Rhoads is the person behind The Rogue Ginger, one of Australia's popular zero-waste blogs. Erin has been writing about her plastic-free and zero waste journey since 2013. Through her pursuit to live plastic-free and zero-waste, Erin learnt to eat real food, discovered new skills, cut down her exposure to harmful chemicals, found joy in moments over things and simplified her life, while saving money.
A sought-after speaker and community activist, Erin is on a mission to engage with individuals, business and government to redefine what is waste and how we can create less of it.
Erin has written two popular zero waste and plastic-free guidebooks: "Waste Not: Make a big difference by throwing away less (2018)" and "Waste Not Everyday (2019)".
In her first book, "Waste Not: Make a big difference by throwing away less (2018)", learn how to:
- Switch out the disposable plastics from your shopping trolley.
- Make simple cleaning solutions free from harmful chemicals.
- Find your favourite beauty products without all the packaging.
- Give a baby shower present that won’t end up in the charity shop bag.
- Plan your own zero-waste wedding (and what ‘zero-waste’ even means!)
In the second book, "Waste Not Everyday (2019)". Erin takes you through the zero-waste lifestyle.
"Split into four easy-to-follow parts, Waste Not Everyday features simple tips that will lead to a real shift in thinking and action and show you that a zero-waste lifestyle is actually achievable – for everyone, every budget and every schedule. With tips ranging from actions and inspiration to recipes and resources, Erin Rhoads, well-known zero-waste advocate and author of Waste Not, takes you on a gentle journey towards a life with less waste and more meaning."
A fantastic book that shows us that is it time to take action. There is no better time to do so than today, and you'll find that small steps can create a big positive impact on your life. You can learn more about her books here.
2021 is a year full of opportunities for personal growth. Take the first step and remember that "the future depends on what you do today" - Gandhi
As always from charityBay, Welcome to a new era of giving back. #charityBay