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As one of the most important elements to our planet, there’s no doubt that our ecosystem must be preserved, but how? What can we do to ensure that this happens in the future? When it comes to how to preserve our ecosystem, the solutions are endless, but here are some of the most effective ways you can help out while still having an impact on your own life and social circles.
Curious Racoon Hunting in Forest
Protect Water Sources
Humans need water—not just for drinking, but also for bathing and washing. Because of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, we’re using more water in a variety of ways than ever before. That’s why it’s so important to preserve our natural resources and reduce our dependency on plastic bottles. One of the best ways to save water is by avoiding bottled drinks that use tap water as their base (e.g., Coke, Pepsi). Instead, buy reusable bottles or drink from public fountains (which are free!). These steps won’t singlehandedly solve all of our environmental problems, but they will help protect some very important elements of our ecosystem: clean air and clean water. For example, around 1 million barrels of oil go into producing bottled water each year... So if you want to safeguard your health as well as our planet’s, start buying your reusable bottle today! It’ll be good for you and good for your world. Water is one thing we can never run out of; what matters now is how carefully we share it. Let's learn to give back with every glass that we sip!
At a time when deforestation is negatively impacting our global ecosystem, you can make a difference by planting trees. By planting just one tree each year for ten years, you could ultimately play a critical role in offsetting your carbon footprint. Not only do trees help absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen—keeping our environment healthy—but they also absorb other greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide. Trees are also an effective solution for absorbing excess rainwater, which keeps flooding at bay. And by removing harmful carbon monoxide from our atmosphere, they work wonders at removing dangerous particles that we come into contact with every day. A single tree will produce nearly $36 in air quality improvements alone over its lifetime—not to mention an additional $75,000 in public health benefits per year!
Reduce Plastic Pollution
The first step in preserving our ecosystem is cleaning up. Almost everything we buy these days comes with some plastic packaging. The plastics that makeup all those packages account for about 2.5% of global oil production and 12% of our total annual energy consumption, according to a study in Science. In 2016, 321 million tons of plastic were produced globally. Half was thrown away within just one year after its first use—meaning much of it winds up polluting our environment and clogging landfills (not good). Luckily, we have some solutions at hand: Organizations such as WeTap and companies like Repurpose provide business services around recycling and repurposing old or unwanted items into new products—think textiles and clothing.
Recycle Plastic Bags
Each year, we throw away 100 billion plastic bags. That’s enough trash to circle our planet four times! Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to eliminate plastic bag waste and keep your eco-friendly goals intact. Here are just a few: First, always carry reusable bags in your car or handbag. Whenever you have groceries packed in plastic bags at a store (grocery stores should be more than happy to offer you a brown paper bag instead), it’s perfectly acceptable to say no thanks and ask for paper instead. If a grocery clerk seems like they won’t comply, it may help if you speak politely but firmly about how you want your purchases packed in paper. Yes, you might get some dirty looks from fellow shoppers, but that's a small price to pay for helping to preserve our fragile environment. While we’re on the subject of recycling... several products can easily be made from recycled plastics. Plastic straws and drink stirrers can easily be reused by throwing them into an old jar until you need them again; hopefully, by then these items will be completely unnecessary due to the widespread use of straw technology and rethinking on disposable packaging altogether. Disposable cutlery made from plant cellulose is another great alternative because traditional plastic utensils contain harmful chemicals that can leach into food when exposed to heat - particularly something as hot as soup!
Big Aquatic Turtle Swimming in Blue Sea
Reduce Meat Consumption
Reduce your meat consumption by as much as possible. One pound of beef requires 500 gallons of water to produce, while one pound of grain only requires 50 gallons. Try replacing 1/3rd of your meat intake with lentils or beans; you’ll feel fuller, healthier and you’ll be helping save our planet's water supply for those who need it most. There are plenty more solutions out there if you look hard enough; we just have to prioritize them before it’s too late. To preserve our ecosystem we all must work together to find a solution that works best for everyone (or at least not hurt anyone). More often than not people will help if asked but how do we ask? If everyone starts saving a small percentage today, collectively those numbers will add up drastically in a short amount of time. These numbers can turn into real action that helps people in need and benefits us all long term!
Consume Less Dairy Products
Dairy is an environmental catastrophe. The dairy industry has a much larger environmental footprint than any other segment of food production, including beef and pork. That’s because of how much water and feed it takes to raise a cow. Plus, cows are ruminants that produce methane as they digest their food – 23 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, on a pound-for-pound basis. To preserve our ecosystem without compromising on your health, opt for non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk or soy milk, both options can be easily found in supermarkets and health food stores nationwide.
Unrecognizable Woman Covered with Plastic
Stop Using Bottled Water
Each year, 30 billion plastic water bottles are trashed. While many people make a concerted effort to recycle, it's just not enough: less than 20 percent of these bottles get recycled. But there is an easy solution: instead of buying bottled water or installing a home filtration system, get a reusable bottle—like Brita's Insulated Bottle ($13 on Amazon)—to carry with you and fill up at water fountains when you're out and about. Not only will you help keep plastic out of landfills, but also save yourself money in the long run by avoiding single-use bottled waters. We also recommend shopping at farmer’s markets; many supermarkets stock natural, organic food without requiring extra packaging. Buy your produce from places that are close to home, so that produce doesn't need to travel far (or have excess packaging) before being delivered straight to your fridge!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Ghulam Nabi Memon