Yet for a long time, we humans have lived our lives on this planet as if we own the Earth.
To make way for societal developments, we have destroyed many natural habitats to many plant and animal species. We have been carrying out deforestation and clearing of natural grasslands at alarming rates, for reasons such as to extract resources (eg. paper, tin, etc) from the earth, or simply to get more land for developments (eg. farming, building of cities, landfills).
In the process, we have striped other creatures of their habitats and even lives. With the destruction of forests, we are also hindering the earth’s ability to clean itself of excessive pollutants and carbon dioxide (which contributes to global warming), resulting in a less ideal climate for both ourselves and other living organisms.
To feed our increasing population, we have been stretching the earth beyond its limits, through activities such as over-farming and over-fishing. Unrelenting, we continue to seek to challenge these limits, through inventing new ways of producing more for our greedy species. We introduced the use of man-made chemical fertilizers, artificial hormonal injection in farm animals, and genetic engineering.
In the process, we have introduced many man-made and harmful substances into other species, the environment and ourselves (unwittingly, we have also tainted the quality of our food supplies, and bring harm to our bodies). And many of these substances have impact still beyond our full comprehension.
The ecological balance we have with other living organisms has been greatly upset. Many plant and animal species have gone extinct as a result of man’s actions. And this is even before we have even discovered their existence!
The loss of the numerous plant species also mean goodbye to important sources of medicinal plants and herbs that could potentially be cures to deadly diseases plaguing mankind today.
GREEN SOLUTION. GET GREEN.
We need to be more responsible and proactive in protecting the earth’s ecological balance. This environmental consciousness should be present, whether we are dealing with government policies, or industrial and economic activities, or in our daily living.
It should not be a matter of convenience, or doing whatever we can within the limits of our societal or economic constraints. In fact, considerations for the environment should come first. For without a planet to live in, there would be no room for societal or economic life.
As an individual is you should not over-consume (not just food, but other goods and services as well). In addition, you should also encourage those around you to do the same. By consuming just what we need, we reduce the strain we place on the earth as a source of our resources.
Keep an organic garden, or even start an organic farm, and help reintroduce more life (beyond humans and our needs) on this planet. Use organic products instead of products that release harmful chemicals into the environment. Donate regularly to forest or wildlife conservation efforts. Or better still, protect a piece of forest land under your name. Respect the lives of other living creatures (plants and animals alike, not just pet dog or cat), and also educate your kids on the importance of doing so. In this way, you would have built the foundations for a more environmentally-conscious generation.
All these efforts will contribute now and in the long run to keeping this earth sustainable.
As with the earth’s resources, the sources of energy (in the form of oil, coal, natural gas, etc) on earth are currently finite.
While humans have started exploring other sources of “sustainable energy”, such as palm oil, there are inherent environmental problems with the cultivation of some of these energy sources. Until the day the human population is able to effectively make use of the infinite, sustainable, and green sources of energy available to us, it is important that we conserve our energy resources.
GREEN SOLUTION. GET GREEN.
There are many energy saving tips to be followed for the home, the office, when driving, and in fact, wherever we go. Adopt them now before it is too late.
Saving energy also means less pollution.
The extraction of energy producing materials such as oil and coal from the earth generates substantial pollution. In turn, the use of these energy materials in driving our power stations, factories and automobiles produces large amounts of pollution and contributes in large ways to global warming.
So the less energy we use, the less pollution we create!
The earth’s resources are limited.
As the human population continues to grow and technological advancements (eg. mass production, transportation) help make more material goods more readily available to people all over the world, we consume more and more natural resources. This rate of consumption is especially apparent in developed countries.
More and more trees are cut down to produce more and more paper for the growing number of offices worldwide. More oil, coal and other natural fuels are extracted from the earth to drive our factory machineries, our automobiles (including our airplanes) and our homes. However, the world’s supplies of oil and coal will not last forever, and our use of these fuels is contributing to polluted air, acid rain and global warming.
In fact, according to a World Wildlife Fund report, humans are using more than 20% more natural resources than the Earth can produce. And between 1970 and 2000, the populations of land, freshwater and marine species have fallen by about 40%. At this rate, we would outstrip the earth’s capacity to support life very soon.
With deforestation and fewer trees on earth, there are fewer plants to absorb excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, accelerating the impact of global warming. In turn, global warming worldwide have led to climate changes, and phenomenon such as serious flooding and drying up of originally forested land, leading to further loss of precious forests, and destruction of habitat for more plant and animal species.
Over-fishing have almost wiped out some fish populations in the waters, and reduced the number of fishes in the ocean significantly.
At this rate, the earth would not be able to sustain life (including ours) on this planet for long.
GREEN SOLUTION. GET GREEN.
We need to evaluate what we really need, as opposed to what we want. Is the new car really what we need? If not, then don’t buy it.We need to learn to consume only what we need, and be considerate in our consumption. In other words, remember that we are not the only ones that the earth has to provide for. Also consider buying eco-friendly products instead. The use of such environmentally friendly products helps you reduce your carbon footprints, and even allow you to contribute to a greener planet.