The Importance of Environmental Awareness and How You Can Help
Environmental awareness is extremely important in today's day and age. There are too many people out there, like our President, who either refuse to believe that global warming or climate change is real, or just too ignorant to understand what it means. However, climate change is a real issue that is currently plaguing our world and if more people are not educated soon, the effects of it may be too much to reverse, let alone prevent. However, if you are already educated on climate change and environmental awareness, there is a lot you can do to help others learn and prevent further global warming from happening.
What Is Environmental Awareness?
Environmental awareness is very easy to understand. Essentially, it is being aware of the issues that our earth is currently dealing with. Issues like deforestation, pollution, our ozone layer, water waste, landfills, and so much more. All of these issues are the direct result of human actions on the environment. Everything we do during our daily lives is worsening the effects of climate change and pollution. If we continue on our present course of not changing anything, we will not have an earth to live on anymore. This land will become barren, polluted beyond imagination, and unlivable, let alone what will happen to our natural resources.
However, becoming aware to the issues our world is facing and still not doing anything is even worse than what has been happening. To truly incorporate environmental awareness to our lives, you must actually change your life. This can be done by doing little things like buying green products like cleaning products, reusable bags, anything that results in less plastic and chemicals ending up in landfills, and polluting our land, water, and air.
If you are already aware, it is your responsibility to offer that environmental awareness to those around you. It all revolves around education. The more you put put into the world, the more people will begin to understand and that information will spread. Especially with how fast information spreads nowadays, getting green thoughts out to the masses is easier than ever. Currently, there are many green programs popping up everywhere. The most common place where you start to see "go green" practices being implemented is in schools, typically primary and middle schools. This is because children are in a very impressionable age, and if they learn how to be green and learn environmental awareness then, those thoughts will stay with them for a long time. It is much harder to teach the older generations, who are already stuck in their ways. We have to focus on the current and next generations, because they are our future.
What Is Global Warming?
First off, let’s get the technical stuff out of the way. If you are looking for a scientific definition for global warming here it is. "A gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants." Thanks, Google. Basically, the global temperature is rapidly increasing due to the amount of pollution. We will get into what kind of pollution exactly later. One of the most common causes of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels such as coal or gasoline.
Many may ask the question, “why are we just hearing about this now?” The answer is simple. You are not. Climate change has been an issue since the 1980s. Scientists have been tracking the effects of global warming going as far back as the 1970s. In 1975, there was an investigation into traces gases from airplanes in the stratosphere and discovered that there was a danger to the ozone layer. The reason global warming is being talked about more nowadays is because of better technology to track climate change data. Another reason is the fact that so many high profile people are bringing attention to it, i.e. President Trump and others. Global warming is becoming a bigger issue because it is worse now than it has ever been and it needs to be addressed.
What Can You Do?
Well you are already doing something by reading the articles on this website. Green and Growing focuses on keeping you happy, healthy, and green, while also encouraging you to do your part in protecting the environment. There are so many articles on this page that can help you to be more green in your life. Not to mention articles that will educate you on the issues the earth is dealing with. But as for what you can do in your daily life to help with environmental awareness. Well, there is a lot that you can actually do.
Changing your lifestyle to be more green is the first step to take. This would include altering the products you buy, like cleaning supplies, food, and other products. Instead of buying products that are laden with chemicals and artificial additives, you can instead buy green and natural products. Not only will they keep excess chemicals from being released into the world, they are also far healthier for you. You can also do your part to lower your carbon footprint. This can be done any number of ways. Whether it is keeping your electricity usage low, driving eco-friendly cars, using renewable energy, or any other environmentally friendly tricks. Of course, you can find information on all of those things by just checking out the rest of this website.
Educating others is also extremely important. Now, not everyone is always open to changing their lifestyle and changing their routines. But there are a lot of benefits to doing so that exceed just being green. Many of the natural products that are available to you, are much more healthier for you than the regular products. Also, switching to renewable energy, or just reducing the amount of electricity you use, not only lessens the amount of CO2 that is produced, it also can save you a bit of cash on your monthly bills. By informing people about the benefits of going green that are more than just environmental benefits, it may make people more open to the ideas.
So what exactly are we doing that has been causing all of this pollution? Think of what you do throughout your day. You get up, turn on your bathroom light and take a nice hot shower. Then when you get to your kitchen, you turn on your stove and make breakfast. On your way to work, you are most likely driving. Just in that morning routine, there are many things that are contributing to climate change. Using non-energy efficient light bulbs increases your energy consumption. Using a gas stove creates carbon dioxide, as does driving a car fueled by petroleum. Now, these might not seem like a lot when just thinking of one person, however, just in the United States, there are 326 million people. Big difference, right? Most of that population does exactly what is stated above and do not think about their contribution to climate change.
In addition to man producing carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels, we also sort of shoot ourselves in the foot by getting rid of much of what would have absorbed the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The trees. By cutting down the forests, we are keeping the earth from sustaining itself. Also, when we then burn those trees, we release all of the carbon dioxide they absorbed back into the atmosphere.
Other Greenhouse Gases
Other man-made global warming sources are our production of methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. Our source of methane basically comes from decomposing organic material, such as landfills, animal waste, and poor sewage treatment. Landfills are a big issue because not only do they produce a lot of carbon dioxide and methane, but they also pollute the land that they fill. Our source of nitrous oxide is mainly caused by fertilizer used in agriculture and landscaping.
In fact, nitrous oxide levels spiked around the turn of the century. Chlorofluorocarbons are long-lasting greenhouse gases that ultimately destroy the ozone. These gases are not naturally found and are purely man-made products such as aerosols, foaming agents, and refrigerants. Without man, global warming most likely would not have occurred. The earth has systems in place to deal with the gases that could be harmful to the atmosphere.
Environmental awareness is the key to reducing and ultimately reversing what has been done to this earth. But it all starts with you. You can not sit around and wait for the government to put green practices into effect, because by then it will be too late. It is our job, right now, to do our part and help the world become better. You can help by going green, educating others about environmental awareness, and supporting environmental organizations and non-profits.
If you want to learn more about how to stay happy, healthy, and green, check out the rest of Green and Growing.