Tips & Tricks

Current Environmental Issues and How You Can Help Make a Difference

Every year our world is significantly impacted by several environmental issues. Humanity is endangering our planet, and it’s up to us to make positive changes to reverse our own doing. Even the most severe problems have solutions.

If you want to learn more about how you can make a difference, keep on reading.

In this article we are going to talk about some of the most significant environmental issues and provide advice on what you can do to help.

Let’s get started.

Climate Change and Global Warming

Certainly, the most significant environmental issue that everyone should know about is climate change. This occurs when greenhouse gases, caused by burning fossil fuels, are trapped in the atmosphere, resulting in a warmer environment.

This increase in temperatures leads to heat waves, diseases, extreme weather, and poor air quality, which we will get further into below.

In order to prevent climate change from continuing, you should aim to reduce your carbon footprint and use renewable energy sources where possible. For instance, you might install solar panels and choose the best battery storage to power your home.

A few other tips that you should follow include:

– Purchasing sustainable food products and buying things in season.

– Only buying what you need and using reusable where possible.

– Reduce water usage in the home.

– Composting food scraps.

– Keeping air temperatures consistent.

– Choosing energy-efficient appliances.

Plastic Pollution

If you’ve ever gone to the beach or walked through the streets of a busy city, you’ve probably seen the impact of plastic pollution. Plastic bags, bottle caps, and water bottles are very dangerous as they can take up to 450 years to decompose. 

This is why it’s crucial to remove rubbish correctly, avoid littering and find ways to reduce your plastic waste altogether. 

Oil Spills

When oil is accidentally spilled into the ocean, it has severe impacts on marine life. When an animal or plant becomes directly in contact with it, the toxicity can lead to health conditions, including stunted growth and heart damage.

Unlike other issues on this list, oil spills might not be something that you can help with directly. However, you can support organizations that work together to assist with oil clean-up and protecting our wildlife. 

Deforestation 

Another environmental issue that is significantly impacting our planet is deforestation. On average, we lose around 18 million acres of forest every year.

This leads to harmful greenhouse gas emissions and results in a considerable loss of habitat. To reduce this, there are a few things you can do, including:

– Planting a tree

– Using less paper

– Buying sustainable wood products

– Recycling paper and cardboard

Loss of Biodiversity

After deforestation is another issue, which is a loss of biodiversity. Habitat destruction impacts millions of animals and plant life, and the more we expand, the more we will lose these beautiful creatures.

Overpopulation and pollution are other factors that can result in this, but ultimately it all contributes to damaging our planet. This is why it’s important to band together and protect our endangered species. 

Air Pollution

Air pollution in major cities is becoming an increasingly dangerous problem. Those that are exposed to poor air quality are at risk of developing several health problems. These include things like respiratory diseases, lung damage, and reduced resistance to infections. 

In severely polluted areas, it also contributes to acid rain, another critical concern. The solution to this is to conserve energy and avoid driving vehicles as much as possible. For instance, you might:

– Carpool with others instead of driving yourself.

– Combine your weekly errands to reduce trips.

– Avoid idling as much as possible.

Waste Production

Did you know that the average person in the US produces around 4.5 pounds of waste every day? When you times that by the entire population, that’s around 268 million tonnes each year. Most of this isn’t recyclable and ends up in landfills.

While it’s impossible for the planet to eliminate it completely, we can do our part to reduce our own waste creation. For instance, you can use reusable products and buy second-hand where possible.

You can find more tips to help you get started here.

Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification occurs when the pH levels are lowered due to carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, there are critical changes in the chemistry of the ocean. The food web is interrupted, and creatures are affected in several ways.

The main fix for this is to ultimately act on climate change in the ways that we discussed above. By reducing the use of fossil fuels, we can keep our marine ecosystem safe.

Polar Ice Caps

One issue that has been on the news for many years now is the melting of polar ice caps in the arctic regions. According to earth.org, the sea levels are rising an average of 3.2mm globally. 

This is causing devastations across coastal regions, resulting in migrations and the loss of homes around the world. If changes aren’t made, it won’t be long until we see entire houses underwater.

Depletion of Resource

Non-renewable resources such as coal, gas, and oil will only last so long. There will come a time when we no longer can rely on our mining operations. Alongside concerns for our future, collecting these fuel types produces a lot of harmful emissions.

This is why the entire planet needs to think ahead and look at integrating more renewable options. These include things such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, and biomass. 

Final Words

As you can see by the above, there are many pressing environmental problems that need our attention. Each of them has its own solutions, but ultimately we must aim to live a greener and more eco-friendly lifestyle.

So, next time you go to buy your groceries, water your plants or throw away your trash, make sure that you think about your options carefully. By working together, we can make a difference.

Photo by Petter Rudwall on Unsplash

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