The environment is essential for sustaining life on earth, and there are concerning signs that we need to change our habits if we are to help it continue to provide a hospitable environment for humans and animals.
The media seem to cover climate change more and more often. Bushfires, flooding, reduced crop yields, and pollution are serious issues that are becoming more mainstream. Many people are coming into contact with these problems; issues that they previously would only have seen on tv and thought would never affect them.
People are voicing their concern that we need to make changes, but often it is a lack of knowledge that prevents them from altering their habits. The first step to solving the problem is understanding how the issue has arisen, and the steps needed to produce a positive response.
Why Do I Need to Learn About This?
There are many threats to the environment; increased pollution from cars and industry, deforestation, and the extinction of species which contribute to a balance in nature, are all detrimental to the world in which we live.
There are distinct factors such as increased use of fossil fuels which produce greenhouse gases, that subsequently trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere and contribute to melting ice caps and rising sea levels. Industrial pollution, quarrying and deforestation, all reduce the amount of oxygen in the environment and increase the levels of CO2.
Many industries have been accused of valuing profits above the natural world. Ultimately, if people make a stand, by turning to environmentally friendly companies, rather than those who harm the environment, they can cause a change in how these corporations work.
Consumers need to educate themselves to understand what processes cause devastation and how they can spread a positive message to change opinions.
How Can I Help?
We know much more now than we did twenty years ago. Scientific advances allow us to understand processes that are not visible to the naked eye. While our generation must act to reduce the damage that is currently occurring, we must educate the next generation from early on in life.
Children need to learn about their habits and how they interact with the natural world. Young minds are naturally curious, and they love to learn more. They often respond well to compassionate stories and have an innate desire to help those in need.
Everyday activities such as recycling, walking to destinations, and reducing food waste, are great ways to help. Also, science incursions are an excellent way to educate and inspire the next generation to take action. Children have a natural affinity with animals, and are particularly interested in those they see on tv, but don’t have contact with regularly.
They are awestruck by images of reptiles and mammals they see in jungles. By educating children as to how our current behavior can harm these species, and also allowing them to enjoy nature without technology, real change is possible.
Of course, adults can benefit from spending more time with nature rather than smartphones, and it is never too late to change our habits. Childhood wonder rarely leaves us; it just gets buried underneath everyday issues that usually aren’t as important as we think they are.
Environmental issues are essential for this generation, and the generations to come. Society needs to act as a whole to reduce the detrimental impact humans can have on the world around them. The more we learn about our impact on both the environment and the species that inhabit planet earth with us, then it will create a more effective and compassionate response.