Thursday, April 17, 2014

Unbowed In The Protection Of Mother Earth

We all realize that environmental conservation is so much more than a hot topic and requires true global connectivity to help protect and restore our planet’s precious resources.  

Environmental conservation is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and has become especially pertinent in recent years due to concerns about global warming and the necessity for clean, renewable energy resources. The impact (either good or bad) that we have on the environment today is making a big difference on the world of future generations. It’s our responsibility to care for our planet and ensure the future well-being of all living things. If we can get to the point where we are living sustainably and technology is providing the majority of our resource needs, things will be a lot different. There will be fewer wars, fewer poor and starving, less threat of species extinction, and most importantly we’ll be creating a way of life that can continue indefinitely. To me that’s a big prize for acting in an environmentally conscious way; for the betterment of society today and for a strong and sustainable society of the future.

As I think back to my most treasured visit to Africa, specifically Kenya and Tanzania, I often wonder what this world would look like without the majestic animals and the beautiful landscape of sub-saharan Africa along with other ecologies around the world I’ve experienced through my extensive travels. It would be a world I most definitely would not want to live in. 

Climate change is an urgent threat caused by humans that must be addressed immediately before it’s too late. Burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, to generate energy has the greatest impact on the atmosphere than any other single human activity. 

To adequately address the climate crisis we must urgently reduce carbon pollution and prepare for the consequences of global warming, which the world is already experiencing. To avoid the worst consequences of climate change, we need to dramatically reduce the world’s carbon emissions. But we must also prepare for the significant changes in weather that the world is presently experiencing because of the pollution already in the atmosphere. Communities and governments need to work together in transitioning toward 100% renewable energy and implement practical measures that improve air quality and protect water supplies.

Protecting our forests, home to many of the world’s most endangered wildlife, is also a significant action that will help fight climate change. If we protect our forests, rather than destroy them, they will protect the planet by absorbing carbon dioxide, which is a major source of pollution that causes climate change. 

Additionally, governments must play a central role in tackling the climate crisis. Governments must invest, support, and encourage clean energy technology, and lead the way by creating environmentally conscious legislation. 

And finally, businesses have a responsibility to reduce their contribution to climate change by incorporating policies and effective ways of doing business that meet goals to reduce carbon emissions while sustaining their core business.
Now on a personal level, in order to help meet the demands of environmental conservation here are a few things we can all do in order to reduce our carbon footprint and in exchange, if enough of us adopt this sustainable way of living, can stop climate change altogether. I know these are ideas we’ve all heard of before but it certainly is a reminder that even small changes in our daily habits can make a positive impact on caring for mother nature.
  1. Invest in a car with better fuel economy, purchase a hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel  cell car.
  2. We can simply take public transit, bike more, or walk more. Afterall, this is of course good for our health as well. 
  3. We can help with reforestation by planting trees. 
  4. Where possible we can use alternative energy, such as solar power, wave power, wind power, hydroelectricity, biofuel, and hydrogen power (just to name a few). In other words we need to conserve our energy – use energy more efficiently and only use it when needed. 
  5. Buy appliances that have a good Energy Star rating.
  6. Use energy efficient lightbulbs.
  7. We can buy food locally and organic food (or both). This is known as a low carbon diet and it not only promotes your health but supports local economies as well.
  8. We could reduce our meat consumption and eat more plant-based foods. Large amounts of carbon dioxide are released as a result of the meat industry. This is mainly done through the deforestation of forests in order to create livestock fields, producing the meat itself and transporting it. Switching to a mainly plant-based diet is good for our own health as much as it is for the planet.
  10. Composting is a great way of helping local farms and gardens while preventing global warming. In fact, compost can be rich in nutrients and is used in landscaping as well. It is also important for organic farming.
  11. We are our choices. What we choose to buy is what we choose to support. Be conscious about supporting companies that make and obtain products in ways that help to stabilize the environment not destroy it. Give those organizations your full support.
  12. Get involved with your local government asking them to take action on environmental initiatives in your community. Speaking of voting, if a political party does not make climate change one of its top priorities, we should not vote for them.
  13. Finally, spread the word. Share information about our planetary crisis. Raise your voice.
For a visually inspiring look at more ways we can help make a difference, here’s a link to a great printable and sharable idea guide that I just love. Place it on your refrigerator and Go Green!

One final thought … when I reflect on the importance of protecting Mother Earth, my thoughts immediately drift to Dr. Wangari Maathai, the first African Woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for the creation of The Greenbelt Movement, an organization that taught Africa’s most impoverished that if we truly care for Mother Earth, she will take care of us. Nobel Laureate Dr. Maathai was unbowed in her conviction to care for our planet. Her insight is one we should all applaud and seek to emulate in our own special and unique way. 

People need nature 
nature needs people to care about it!

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