Too many people today shun the idea of spirituality and focus on existing purely in the here and now. They focus primarily on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for their planet and those who share it with them. The result of this can be seen clearly in the many environmental challenges facing our planet today. We have reached the stage where urgent action needs to be taken on a governmental and global level. It’s also important, however, to make our own individual contributions to creating a greener environment, so here are some ways that you can make a positive contribution.
What Are The Environmental Challenges Facing Our Planet?
Before we examine how we can do our bit to improve the environment, let’s first take a look at the biggest problems facing it. We all read the headlines about conflicts across the world and the dreadful consequences of them, but the biggest problem facing our planet today is global warming and man-made climate change.
Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses are trapping heat in the atmosphere rather than allowing it to escape, and this is leading directly to the extreme weather patterns. Flooding is devastating many parts of the United States with a frequency not seen before, droughts are destroying crops and livelihoods in Africa and the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate. While carbon dioxide and methane are also produced naturally, it is mankind’s contribution to these gasses that has taken them to dangerous levels above the earth, bringing devastating consequences for our present and our future.
The Dangers Of Plastic Waste
Another major environmental threat is evident in our oceans, and on the shorelines that border them. Plastic waste has reached endemic levels, and as it’s a non-biodegradable material, much of it finds its way into the sea and onto the beaches. This not only looks unsightly, but it also creates huge problems for marine life ranging from fishes and turtles to seabirds. Studies show that over 267 species have been affected by plastic pollution. In one study, 98% of seabird chicks had plastic in their stomachs. A dead whale washed up on Puget Sound in Washington state in 2010 was found to contain more than 20 plastic bags, a golf ball, a pair of pants and surgical gloves among other items. It’s a growing problem – but what can be done?
How To Combat Plastic Pollution
The good news is that, at last, many governments are waking up to the threat caused by plastic waste. The UK government, for example, is pledging to eliminate avoidable plastic waste completely in by 2042. This is an area where we can all do our bit.
By refusing to buy products in plastic packaging, you can put pressure on manufacturers to use other materials that are less harmful to the environment. The efficacy of this consumer protest can already be seen, with major coffee and fast food chains switching away from plastic cups and straws, and some music festivals announcing that they are to become plastic free zones. It’s also important to avoid buying single-use plastic items such as earbuds, as these can easily reach our waterways to devastating effect.
Recycle As Much As Possible
Recycling is the most obvious way that we can adopt a greener lifestyle and benefit our planet, but many Americans don’t recycle as much material as they could. While some plastic items are, unfortunately, non-recyclable, that’s not true of paper and cardboard, glass, tin, steel, and aluminium. Many people don’t realize how quickly some of these materials can re-enter circulation, but a crushed aluminium can enter into the recycling process can be turned into a pristine new can and be on the shelf of your local store within 60 days. Never throw away anything that can be recycled is the short message we should all listen to. Phone books and junk mail can be recycled and used again, and don’t forget that aluminium foil can be recycled as well as tins and cans made of the material. Incredibly, recycling just one aluminium can save as much energy as that used to power a television set for three hours, so large-scale recycling can have a hugely beneficial effect.
Adopt Greener Transport Solutions
One of the major cause of greenhouse gas remains the carbon dioxide emissions from car exhausts, even though car manufacturers are now producing more eco-friendly models. Frequent short car journeys should be avoided, as cold engines produce far more pollution than warm engines. If your journey is three miles or less, it would be much better to cycle or walk, and this can bring major health and psychological benefits as well. There are occasions, of course, when a car is the most convenient form of transport, but with hybrid and electric cars becoming ever more popular and affordable, it may be time for you to look at joining this greener car revolution.
Celebrate And Promote Earth Day
Earth Day is held on the 22nd April every year, and it focuses on a different, and vital, environmental objective every day. Participating in Earth Day events can be a great way to help the planet and meet like-minded individuals, and it can be particularly beneficial to involve children, as these are the people who will most feel the effects of climate change unless it is reversed. As well as taking part in Earth Day yourself, it’s also a good idea to publicize the day as much as possible, so that others can see and hear its important message. Social media is perfect for this task, so on the run-up to Earth Day, and on the day itself, create and share positive posts about the environment on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter using the #EarthDay hashtag. It’s growing in popularity every year, and social media is helping to drive the message forward.
Launch Your Own Green Business
If you’re passionate about protecting our environment, then you may well be taking all of the above actions already. That’s great for the planet we live on, but you may be able to do even more. Increasing numbers of Brits are leaving the rat race behind and launching their own business. With increasing support and advice available online this can be easier than you think, and businesses that have excellent green credentials or that sell environmentally-friendly products or services are particularly popular. If you are thinking of starting an enterprise in this area, then attending business & management training courses first can give you all the skills and knowledge you need to succeed. From proper planning to organisational development, marketing and leadership skills, the knowledge you gain on a high-quality business & management training courses can make your green business idea into a winning reality.
When we look at the environmental changes in our world today, it’s all too easy to become downhearted, so it’s important to remember that climate change is not yet irreversible and that we can all do our bit to help. Launching a green business is one of the most positive things you can do, but simple tasks such as upping your recycling, cycling rather than driving, publicizing eco-friendly days and events, and avoiding single-use plastic can all make a major difference to our planet and everything upon it.