“The history of life on Earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings. To a large extent, the physical form and the habits of the earth’s vegetation and its animal life have been molded by the environment. Considering the whole span of earthly time, the opposite effect, in which life actually modifies its surroundings, has been relatively slight. Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species -man- acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world.” - Rachel Carson (author of Silent Spring)
Are you aware of the detrimental impacts that you have had on our environment? If you aren’t, continue reading. If you are, but you don’t care enough to do something about it, continue reading. Caring for the environment doesn’t require you to become an environmental activist, but just to know more about your environment and make more eco-conscious decisions. As someone who is aware, who cares, and who is concerned, I’d like to help you understand why you should care about our environment.
Here are 6 reasons why I believe you should care:
1) A clean environment is essential for healthy living
The more you don’t care about our environment, the more it will become polluted with contaminants and toxins that have a harmful impact on our health. Air pollution can cause respiratory diseases and cancer, among other problems and diseases, due to the inhalation of all the harmful chemicals. Water pollution can lead to typhoid, diarrheal diseases, and other waterborne/water-related diseases, due to the intake of bacteria and parasites.
I know that we have treatment systems to take care of some of these issues, but you never know what faults may occur. Unfortunately, many people have died due to these health-related illnesses.
Air sustains us and water is a basic necessity, so we should just do what we can to prevent pollution.
“When the earth is sick and polluted, human health is impossible…. To heal ourselves we must heal our planet, and to heal our planet we must heal ourselves.” – Bobby McLeod (Aboriginal Activist & Poet)
2) Earth is warming
Global warming is causing climate patterns to change. Yes, climate change is real and we are largely responsible because our activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These small changes in the average temperature can lead to the frequent occurrences of dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms, so “for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods—all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science—and act before it’s too late.” - Barack Obama (Current US President)
3) Your great-great & great-great-great grandchildren will appreciate it
Unless you have some superpower that I am unaware of, you are not going to live forever. So, what type of world do you want to leave for your future family? If you know the dangers that future generations will face due to the problems we have now, why wouldn’t you make sacrifices and do something to prevent it from happening?
“But there must be the look ahead, there must be a realization of the fact that to waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.” – Theodore Roosevelt (26th US President)
4) Biodiversity is important
Biodiversity refers to the variety of plants, animals, and other living things in our world. It can be negatively influenced by habitat loss and degradation due to human activity, climate change, and pollution, among other things.
Many of our basic necessities that we need to survive are provided because of biodiversity. We need food from various species and plants to eat, water to drink, air to breathe, and materials to provide shelter and other necessities. There are many natural processes that have been formed by various species to provide these necessities. If something happens to one of them, an unwanted chain reaction may occur, negatively affecting our basic necessities. Loss of biodiversity could also cause other problems.
The greater the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for various discoveries that could make our world a much better place, so let’s do what we can to prevent the loss of biodiversity.
“We should judge every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.” – E.O. Wilson (American Biologist)
5) It’s a reflection of your character
One of my life mottos is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Yes, I consider nature to be an other. Nature gives us so many things for free: clean air, clean water, beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views. We take so much from nature, but what do we give in return? Pollution?
The least we can do is show our appreciation by protecting and preserving or environment.
“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” – Mahatma Gandhi (Indian civil rights activist)
6) This is our home
It’s where we live, so we better take care of it! Would you rather live in a polluted dump?
“Out of all those millions and millions of planets floating around there in space, this is our planet, this is our little one, so we just got to be aware of it and take care of it.” – Paul McCartney (English musician)
As an individual, there are many ways to show that you care about our environment. Some of the most common ways are the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. No matter how small or insignificant your actions may seem, they matter. It only takes 1 person to start a movement that could possibly lead to a major environmental breakthrough.
Are you going to be that person?