While the abuse of drugs may seem like a very personal issue, it actually has a far-reaching impact on the surrounding society and environment. Furthermore, it’s believed that an individual’s surrounding environment may impact their inclination to abuse drugs. This two-way street between drug abuse and the environment is something researchers have long been intrigued by.
Cannabis Cultivation and the Environment
According to research, outdoor cannabis cultivation, specifically on public lands, is increasingly becoming an issue in regions where large amounts are grown and harvested. It’s not necessarily the plant itself that’s causing the damage, but rather the grow site operators and the conditions they establish.
These operators – some knowingly and others unknowingly – contaminate watersheds, divert natural water courses, cause wildfire hazards, clear cut native plants and vegetation, and discard non-biodegradable materials.
Because water is such a critical need for healthy cultivation of cannabis, growers often dam streams or redirect the natural course of water through plastic irrigation tubing to supply water to specific plants. This strains water flow and leads to dehydration further down the stream.
Law enforcement agents in certain regions also frequently encounter what are known as “dump sites.” These sites contain chemical repellants, poisons, and toxic insecticides. When these materials contaminate ground water, they lead to pollution.
Environmental Factors and Drug Abuse
“Drug abuse can be influenced by a variety of experiences, events and personality characteristics, but environmental factors also play a role in the potential for drug abuse to develop,” writes Alia Butler, a health writer and blogger.
Over the years, one thing has become clear. Those growing up surrounded by poverty are at an increased risk of becoming drug abusers. This is caused by a number of factors. One such cause is access. Drug dealing is a profitable business in impoverished communities and dealers often give children free samples to ensure a future supply of customers.
This ultimately produces an endless cycle of poverty and drug use, which prevents many communities from ever becoming productive. The good news is that drug rehab and detox centers are popping up all over the country, making treatment a real possibility for everyone.
Methamphetamine Production and Toxic Chemicals
Much like the cultivation of cannabis, the production of methamphetamine can damage the surrounding environment. This is because many of the chemicals used in production are flammable. As a result, the improper storage or disposal of these chemicals can lead to fires, explosions, and dangerous situations.
There’s also a hefty price tag associated with cleaning up laboratories and dump sites that manufacturers and operators leave behind. In 2009, the state of California responded to and cleaned up 232 different sites. The cost was a staggering $776, 889 – or roughly $3,349 per site.
Illicit Drug Use and the Health Care System
The consequences of illicit drug use on the U.S. health care system have been apparent for decades. Each year, millions of individuals are admitted into hospitals and emergency facilities to be treated for poisoning, withdrawals, organ failures, strokes, and other complications related to illegal drug use.
Not only is this a personal problem for the patients involved, but it also puts a strain on facilities and doctors that are needed for other health emergencies that are not rooted in illegal activity. It creates moral dilemmas and leads to problems regarding the responsibility of providing due care.
Putting it All Together
As you can see, there’s a direct relationship between the environment and illicit drugs – and it goes both ways. Not only does drug use influence how society functions, but the production and disposal of these drugs also has a negative impact on the overall health and sustainability of the surrounding environment. It’s a two-way street that needs to be dealt with.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .