“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 impact that you have on the environment? If not, continue reading. If you are, that’s good, but you can continue reading too.
For those that don’t know, caring for the environment doesn’t require you to become an environmental activist. Just be eco-conscious!
As someone who cares, 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
If you don’t care about the environment, chances are it will become polluted. It’ll be polluted with contaminants and toxins, which may harmfully affect your health.
According to the US EPA, outdoor air pollution is associated with heart and asthma attacks, bronchitis, and premature mortality. (1) And our indoor environment is two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environment! (2) Yikes!
Also, according to the CDC, water pollution can lead to gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. (3)
Although we have treatment systems and other mechanisms to combat these issues, you never know what faults may occur. Air sustains us and water is a basic necessity, so we should 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) The overall temperature of Earth’s atmosphere is increasing
Yes, small changes in the average temperature can lead to frequent occurrences of dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms. Yes, global warming and climate change are real.
And guess what? We (us humans) are largely responsible for them because our activities have caused a continual increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.
According to the EPA, the change in greenhouse gas concentrations causes warming (global warming) and affects the climate (climate change). Climate change may affect human health, agriculture, water resources, forests, wildlife, and coastal areas. (4)
“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.” – President Barack Obama (44th U.S. 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?
Future generations may face dangers due to problems caused by us. You should 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.” – President Theodore Roosevelt (26th U.S. President)
4) Biodiversity is important
Biodiversity refers to the variety of plants, animals, and other living things in our world. According to the EPA, it can be negatively influenced by natural forces and human activities. (5)
We have many of the basic necessities that we need to survive because of biodiversity. Food, water, shelter, and air. There are natural processes that have been formed by various species to provide or affect these necessities. If something happens to a certain organism, an unwanted chain reaction may occur. That may lead to a loss of biodiversity, which may negatively affect our necessities.
The greater the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for discoveries that could make our world a much better place. 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.”
Nature gives us so many things for free. It gives us clean air, clean water, beautiful landscapes, breathtaking views, and the list goes on… 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 our 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) Earth is our home
Earth is where we live. Well, at least until Elon Musk builds an economical and efficient way for us to get to another planet. So, we better take care of it!
“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)
There are many ways you can show that you care about our environment. Some of the most common ways are the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. No matter how small or insignificant your actions may seem, they matter. It only takes one person to start a movement that could possibly lead to a major environmental breakthrough.
Are you going to be that person?