Are You Eco Friendly – How Can You Help To Save The Planet
Ecosystems take several thousands of years to evolve. Each such ecosystem is again a small but crucial link in a larger ecosystem chain comprised both of plants and animals. Because of such interlinking, we humans have not realized the actual damage we’ve done to nature over the years. Nature always has spare hands to take over in any crisis.
For example, if population of bee decreases, there may be wasps, butterflies, and even birds that take over the function of pollination, but such standby systems eventually give way. We humans are now facing nature’s fury because of years of neglect and greed. It is time each one of us contributed in some way to restore the balance. So how do you help to save the planet and its ecology? The quest begins with the question “Are you eco friendly – how can you help to save the planet”.
Avoid What Harms Nature
Our planet is averse to
a. Chemicals in the environment
We use them in fertilizers, aerosols, pesticides, cosmetics, mosquito repellants, and even industries that make fabrics like nylon and polyester. People would argue how we can stop using pesticides and fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers increase the quantity of produce, but with each passing year, the farmer has to marginally increase the quantity of fertilizer needed for producing the same quantity of food.
This happens because friendly microbes in soil die due to concentrated chemical fertilizers and insecticides used in farms. Such chemicals may also be the reason for alarming decrease in the number of bees and butterflies across the world. Perhaps, we need to return to age old methods of using composts which not only give us nature friendly fertilizers, but also keep the soil’s quality intact.
b. Electro-magnetic waves and sound waves
While studies have not clearly established the link between electro-magnetic waves and bird populations, most people would agree that the number of birds they saw when they were young has come down drastically. Perhaps it means we need to talk less on phones, and have fewer towers that link our cellular phones.
c. Radiations and emissions
We do use a lot of materials that cause harmful radiations and emissions. These cause mutations, in plants as well as animals. Such mutations are subtle, and the impact of these can only be realized a few decades down the lane. Countries develop nuclear arms and test them under the sea. People forget that eventually they might eat seafood that has been subjected to radiation and that food can harm them or their loved ones.
There are smaller ecologies there which may be important in food chains of edible fishes and other crustaceans. By destroying their favorite food, we indirectly hurt ourselves. After all, such destruction of food chain means the numbers of fish will go down. We may even prompt some of the sea animals that normally do not eat fish eaten by humans to start eating them, effectively disturbing our own food chains. Therefore, we need to protest against such explosions and experiments.
d. Excessive burning of fossil fuels resulting in emission of green house gases
It is hard to understand why people do not object to sports such as motorcycle and car races even after knowing about harmful emissions from vehicles. Governments should also be improving public transport systems instead of encouraging people to travel in their cars. But there are other ways of wasting energy as well. Instead of building environmentally suitable structures, people are opting for contemporary materials to churn out stylish buildings, which undoubtedly look good, but may not always be energy efficient.
This means people have wrong priorities. They compromise on necessity in favor of looks. We can prompt governments to increase the number of buses and frequency of such buses and reduce the vehicular traffic also in the process.
Likewise, we need a policy on energy efficient buildings so that fewer air conditioners or heating units are required if at all. Reducing thermal power and opting for renewable energy sources might help. Likewise, opting for LED lighting and other energy efficient machines can help to slow down the need for power.
e. Constructions without considering nature
Man’s fascination to build has been there since ancient times. However, skyscrapers and paved roads do not leave enough room for water to seep into soil. Water drains take away the water to an alternative location. This results in death of soil, meaning death of life forms in the soil. People are also forced to use alternate methods of bringing water back to such places.
Buildings and designs of the past were more nature friendly than those of recent times. They used wells instead. People can use their roofs to grow plants, but don’t. Perhaps governments can be persuaded to encourage people to have flowers on roofs so that butterflies and bees thrive once again and lands used to grow flowers for commercial purposes can be partly utilized to grow food.
f. Ostentatious spending
A lot of spending on what we feel is necessary, but if we really sit down to think, we realize it is not, needs to be avoided. Invariably such functions involve traveling and therefore, burning of fossil fuels, and resultant green house gas emissions. People spend on decorations and objects, each of which may have guzzled up some energy.
Flowers are victims at functions such as weddings and funerals apart from birthdays, marriage anniversaries, baby showers, etc. People do need to realize that it is those flowers that are necessary for bees and butterflies. When things can be said with words, they do not have to destroy an ecosystem for that, the repercussions of which will be seen in food production.
g. Wars and unrests
If only we could learn to be comfortable with each other, we might manage to bring down wars and uprisings, and all the chemical warfare as well as biochemical warfare.
h. Indiscriminate increase in population
It is difficult for the planet to establish system that generates adequate quantities of food at the rate at which people are increasing their numbers. Using genetically modified crops to increase food production may again be affecting populations of some of the human friendly microbes. Humans have to be housed and provided clothes. Then there is the question medicines and transport. Obviously, nature is put under stress by deforesting some area for housing and food production. If we could bring down numbers slowly and steadily, we might be able to give nature a chance to re-grow some of the beneficial ecosystems.
There are no easy solutions. In the past environmentalists have issued warnings, but their warnings have always been ignored. By identifying what harms our planet, we can try to do something that doesn’t harm it or something that undoes that harm. We have exploited this planet for several hundreds of years. We also live in computer age when we get our results very fast. But our measures to restore our planet’s ecosystems will only be able to show us results at an extremely slow pace. We must be prepared for that, and not give up now that we have realized our folly