A definition of sustainability might be the ability to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Environmental sustainability means using only what you need and giving back as much as you have taken. If you focus your efforts on a few key areas, you might help change the course of science, implement new environmental laws and plant an entire forest! Here’s how…
The world is filled with plastic. This ubiquitous material is durable, cheap and versatile, but its very utility is having a detrimental impact on the environment. Due to its disposable nature, plastic is ending up in our oceans at an alarming rate. In fact, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic makes its way into the oceans every year.
Ninety percent of seabirds have plastic in their systems, while 73 percent of deep sea fish have ingested plastics. Plastics break down into microplastics which can be consumed by all sea creatures, even zooplankton. Thanks to this infiltration of the ecosystem, humans consume 70,000 pieces of microplastic each year.
If you want to have a substantial impact on the environment, opt out of plastic consumption. Sure, you can recycle, but an astounding 91 percent of plastics do not get recycled. The best option is to find sustainable alternatives.
Swap your plastic grocery bags for fabric, reusable ones. Avoid nylon and polyester fabrics, as these are made from plastic fibers and shed 1,900 microfibers with each wash. Bamboo is an environmentally sustainable, fast-growing alternative to plastic. From sportswear to bedding, from straws to floors, bamboo is as versatile and strong as plastic without the negative environmental impact.
The best way to protect Mother Nature is to support environmental laws that force a higher standard of sustainability. Not only must society work to support existing laws, but citizens need to continue to back scientific studies that point to more stringent standards.
If you want to support environmental laws, consider donating to the nonprofit organization Earthjustice. With over 120 lawyers and 400 active cases, Earthjustice fights for endangered species and environments that need protection. From working to protect clean air to the prosecution of companies that break the law, Earthjustice is taking effective action to support the environment.
To create effective laws and take appropriate action to mitigate the effects of climate change, it’s important to understand the impact people have on the planet. Scientific research is key to finding environmentally sustainable alternatives that will protect the planet. o support scientific studies for a greener planet and safer future, the Union of Concerned Scientists is an organization at the forefront of the fight against global warming.
Forests give life to the world. They produce oxygen, absorb CO2 and provide water. They are a key building material. They also shelter 80 percent of the world’s land animals. Every year, the planet loses 18.7 million acres of forests, or about 27 soccer fields every minute.
Support reforestation efforts to help reduce your carbon footprint. One Tree Planted is a nonprofit organization that engages in reforestation efforts around the globe. For every dollar donated, the group plants a tree.
One way to support this effort is to forgo two coffees a week and use the five dollars to plant trees. Over the course of your lifetime, you could plant an entire forest. Now that’s really making an impact on the fate of the planet.
Nikki Fotheringham is an environmental journalist and campfire cooking author. She is the editor of Greenmoxie.com where she shares green-living tips and helps people to live a more sustainable life.