In the recent years there has been a significant rise in people’s concern for the environment. We all affect the natural environment, but we are often are unaware of how much we affect it. There is no part of the earth that does not remain affected by our actions. Our actions are now threatening the health of our planet, the land we live and work on, the water supply, the ozone layer, the animal species as well as the health of our species.
With this it is easy to say “The problem is too great and what can we do now?” Well, we can first remember and believe that we can make a difference. We can start with making a commitment to do a few things to save our environment.
We can work with our community and raise awareness about the environment. We can look into the environmental issues in our neighborhood. We can call our local government offices and ask if it has an environmental committee and if there is one we can join the committee and help with issues that are of concern of the local area.
We can organize a clean-up at a local park or street, hold a garage sale or better yet hold a street sale and sell unwanted items, this is a form of recycling. We can also consider developing a proposal for funding an environmental program or cause. The future of our world is unknown but with steady development, we can try to guarantee a better quality of life for every living thing by becoming an informed citizen is a key piece in saving our environment possible.
In our home it is a great place to take action for the environment because we can control what happens and how things are done. At home we can reduce the amount of waste that is produced by
less harmful to the environment. There are many things that we can do. We can be careful in our purchases, including buying only what we need, buying durable long-lasting products and buying products with no or with less packaging. We can repair items that no longer work rather than throwing them away or buying items. We can even reuse much as possible including paper, jars, and cans, cardboard boxes, paper and plastic bags, paper clips, and even string. We can even donate some of these things to a local school. We can even recycle unwanted items that can not be fixed or reused like clothing, appliances, books, magazines and many other items that can be passed on to others that can use them. Also, did you know that in 2000 the residents of Ottawa recycled over 34,000 tons of newspaper, 7,500 tons of glass, 6,500 tons of cardboard, 3,500 tons of boxboard (cereal, tissue and shoe boxes), 2,000 tons of steel, 574 tons of aluminum and almost 2,000 tons of plastic? Just by this community coming together they recycled for a good cause. We can do this in our community too.
In the winter, a lot of heat is lost through the windows and doors of our home. We can make sure that all external walls, the basement, the attic and any crawl spaces are well insulated so we would not have to use the air conditioner or heater. Our windows and doors should fit well and be sealed against drafts. We can even consider installing solar panels for heating and for hot water. To cool our house we can plant shade trees around the house or put reflector covers on the windows. If we do not know what we are exactly using we can call our local Pacific, Gas and Electric Company or hire a consultant to conduct an energy use audit for your home and then we can implement the recommendations.
For many of us owning a car is almost a necessity, but it is also important to think about what we doing or how we use it. The car is one of the major source of pollutants to the environment. They release carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants that cause smog and give a rise to destroying the ozone layer and cause climate changes. We have alternatives to using our car. We can take the bus or public transit instead of our car as often as possible. It saves fossil fuels and is often less stressful. We can use car or van pools instead of driving to and from work on our own. Some towns and cities have car pool parking lots close to the public transit routes or specially designated lanes on the highway for people who car pool. We could even walk, bike or skate to work and do errands. We can even consider buying a smaller car that will meet our needs and choose a model that is fuel-efficient and has good gas mileage. We could even think consider purchasing a hybrid (gas and electric engine) car.
These are a just a few ideas that we can do together to save our environment. There is so much information on the web that we could find that would be helpful or even at our local library. But, by educating ourselves we can educate our family and friends in joining us in saving our environment. We just need to remember and believe that we can make a difference. We can start with making a commitment to do a few things to save our environment. If we are armed with increased knowledge, awareness and the understanding of the major issues involved in our environment and the impact that we can make to save the environment we will be prepared to take action. Whether the action we take is in the form of personal responsibility or making changes in our daily life. It is not too late. Our environments’ health, the animals of the worlds’ health and our own health depends on what we do today, tomorrow, and long into the future.