We are often bombarded with instructions on contributing to a cleaner global environment, yet it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause for concern with so much happening in the background and very little being done on the frontline.
Whether you’re new to the idea of being a little greener or simply looking to discover reasons why changing the way we live is so important for the environment, here are the 9 environmental issues that are of most concern to greener, environmentally-friendly organisations.
Renewable Energy and Fossil Fuels
We’ve all heard about renewable energy and how important it is in negating the use of fossil fuels and other potentially harmful energy resources. This is a highly significant environmental issue that needs to be addressed, mainly because we have the tools available to do something about it.
There are certain parts of the world that are notorious for their use of fossil fuels and non-renewable energy resources, such as China and even parts of the USA. While you might think your own small contribution to the energy problem is insignificant, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Gradual changes to the way we all use our energy, from installing rooftop solar panels to switching off the mains, will drastically affect our consumption of fossil fuels and massively improve what is currently a desperate outlook.
An Ever-Changing Climate and Greenhouse Gasses
Arguably the most publicised and talked-about issue surrounding the environment is climate change, which is actually having a disastrous effect already on a number of worldwide locations. If you thought polar ice caps were the only major climate change concern at this moment in time, consider the many eastern coastal towns and islands that are submerged in water as a result of the rising sea levels.
There are also catastrophic weather conditions and a threatened ecosystem to consider, with everything being influenced by our use of non-renewable energy.
Many people are still in denial with regards to climate change, so it’s essential that the reality of the issue is well publicised and reported in detail to promote technological development funding and meaningful lifestyle changes.
A Lack of Water
It might not feel like it but the truth is water is in very short supply. Global drinking water reserves are decreasing rapidly and 20% of the world’s population do not have access to safe water. Millions of people in African countries are forced to put up with the high demands of drought and famine consistently due to an unimaginable lack of water.
Again, the solutions are there for us to explore and potentially develop within the next couple of decades, although you can make your own contribution by simply turning off the tap when you’ve finished using it rather than leaving it to run.
Current Waste Disposal Methods
Waste is something that seems to have fallen back in the line of importance, with so much attention now focused on energy consumption and climate change. Waste is still a huge problem within a global society that continues to adopt a throwaway lifestyle.
The developing world is hugely affected by our discarding of unwanted leftovers, as is the natural environment which takes the full whack when we throw out toxic waste and other harsh chemicals. Our current packaging methods, along with fast food and electronic devices, are just a few of the major issues contributing to our current waste disposal system.
With simple changes being all that’s needed to make a difference, many people have adopted recycling and other beneficial waste disposal methods into their lifestyle, reducing landfill site waste by a substantial amount.
Endangered Species and Ecosystems
While a number of species that were previously endangered or thought to be extinct have made a comeback, this is vastly outweighed by the ever-growing number of species and ecosystems that are now under threat.
Many indicator species are also at risk, which could spell the end of an entire ecosystem. People often fail to see the consequences of losing an ecosystem, which in reality has a huge global impact.
You can stay on top of the latest list of endangered species and ecosystems and subsequently do what you can with the information you’ve collected to promote their natural growth and development in your local environment.
Our use of Food Resources
The way in which we eat our food in the West has been widely criticised, with the lifestyle we lead simply not reflective of what would be realistic should it be available on a global scale. In fact, it would take around five earths to support the eating lifestyle we lead in the West.
Biofuels are also a major controversy, with potential food resources being used to run vehicles instead of feeding the millions of starving people worldwide. What exactly should we do to get out of what is evidently a food crisis?
Surely we couldn’t all turn to vegetarianism or simply take up hunting rifles and search for food resources ourselves, could we? This is an interesting one but certainly worth debating…