“The love for God is the love to protect the environment.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom: Great Mind
Environmental degradation is one of the largest threats faced by the world today. It can be attributed to various human activities as well as certain natural disasters. Certain choices we make in our life can directly or indirectly impact the environment.
Continued degradation of the earth can lead to the destruction of various aspects of the environment such as biodiversity, ecosystems and natural resources. Hazardous waste produced by industries contaminates the water bodies, resulting in shortage of usable water.
According to a report from National Geographic, more than 75 percent of Earth’s land areas are substantially degraded, undermining the well-being of 3.2 billion people. Luca Montanarella, a soil scientist from Italy and co-chair of this assessment said that “We’ve known about this for over 20 years but it is only getting worse. We need to find a stable balance between our lifestyle and our impacts on nature.”
As the degradation of the earth is continuing, it’s critical to identify the causes of this destruction and eliminate them one by one.
The major reasons for environmental degradation include:
- Pollution – it’s one of the major causes of environmental degradation. Land, air and water get polluted, which introduces contaminants into the environment, resulting in destruction of plant and animal species. Rapid industrialization is a major contributor to environmental pollution.
- Over-population – population is increasing day by day. It’s a key factor that influences the environment. Over population results in over exploitation of the natural resources, this contributes to environmental erosion and pollution. Rapid population growth also disturbs several aspects such as climate, forest, vegetation, mountain, water sources and more.
- Acid rain – chemical reaction that creates this acid precipitation can acidify and pollute natural streams, lakes as well as soil. It can also destroy monuments and impact the foundation of buildings. With acid rain, the water that we drink will no longer be fit for drinking.
- Deforestation – often we cut down trees to make way for more homes and industries. Forest areas that are being cleared for agricultural land and settlement results in environmental degradation. Decreased forest size puts carbon back into the environment, which further contributes to global warming.
- Urbanization and industrialization – this demands newer constructions every day and can have destructive effects on the environment, basic ecosystems, wildlife habitat, and global biodiversity. Extension of settlement areas has also decreased the productivity of land and forest.
- Global warming – global warming is another result of environmental degradation. Consequences of global warming include sea level rising, frequent long periods of hot weather, polar ice caps melting, increased intensity of hurricanes and storms, and decrease in water availability.
Increased use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides also contribute to environmental pollution. All these factors can impact human health, and make atmospheric changes such as rise in temperature, resulting in scarcity of natural resources.
With the rapid depletion of resources, it’s becoming increasingly important for everyone to follow a sustainable lifestyle. Being sustainable refers to making eco-friendly choices in your life, whether at home or office or during travel.
Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources such as air, water and soil as well as personal resources. It also helps to reduce the carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet.
Top 5 Sustainable Living Habits You Can Try
- Drive less, consider carpooling – Smoke emitted by vehicles – chlorofluorocarbon, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and other dust particles pollute the air. Air gets polluted mainly in urban areas where the population is increasing rapidly. Reducing the number of cars on the road results in less carbon footprint, and less toxic air to breathe. By driving less, you can also avoid gas consumption. Either choose public transport, carpool along with your colleagues or even ride a bike because that’s free.
- Reduce plastic usage – As plastic is a heavy polluting material, think of ways to substitute it. Also, stop using plastic water bottles to store drinking water. It’s ideal to avoid disposable containers and opt for reusable bottles to go green. Instead of plastic bags, try reusable shopping bags.
- Compost at home – Home composting helps to get chemical-free fertilizer for your garden. Onion peels, leaves, stem and skin from fruits and vegetables, tea waste and such things can be collected in a barrel or an open air bin system with soil. This mixture helps to create a nutrient-rich soil that can be used to grow your home plants. Reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides can also prevent soil pollution.
- Go electronic instead of printing papers – Use e-copies and try not to print paper copies. Instead of printing tickets, use electronic versions. Most airline and movie halls now accept e-tickets. Instead of reading print newspaper, why not try reading online newspapers?
- Grow your own fruits and vegetables – Go green at home. Home-grown foods stay free from pesticides and thus keep you protected from diseases. It can also reduce your overall carbon footprint. Indoor decorative plants at home act as natural air purifiers and expel bad air. It’s even possible to grow the super nutritional matcha tea at home using this simple guide.
Along with following these tips, make sure to avoid the use of things that pollute the environment, thus saving the environment from the threat of degradation. Train your kids on the relevance of going green and the consequences of this global issue.
It’s also important to reuse all the resources and materials that you possibly can. Water-saving habits will reduce your water usage as well as your bill. If interested in social work, you can arrange awareness programs for all levels in the society so that they will be informed of the negative impacts of environment degradation. Industries must make sure to properly recycle the secreted waste materials. Governments and social organizations should also constantly work to make people aware of the importance of environment conservation.
Go green! Live happy!
Author Bio: Catalin is the founder of Ecommerce Platforms and Web App Meister. He blogs about matcha, Japanese lifestyle, and mindfulness at matcha-tea.com. He’s a design enthusiast and loves matcha, and is uber passionate about blockchain technology and travel.