What is Environment and Ways to Protect it?
The environment comprises of all the biotic or living and abiotic or non-living components in a specified area that occur naturally. While the word environment can refer to a small area or habitat, it is more commonly used to refer to the Earth’s natural ecosystem as a whole. It is believed to have been derived from ‘environia,’ the French word for ‘surround.
In layman’s terms, the environment can simply be described as one’s natural surroundings. Currently, the environment is damaged, seemingly beyond repair. So, our only concern is how we can protect the environment?
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Why Should We Protect the Environment?
The environment is the very basis of life. The environment provides us with food, water, medicine, shelter, nutrients, raw materials, fuel, and everything else that we might need or want to live a fulfilling and luxurious life.
Without the natural balance of the ecosystem, all life would cease to exist. Anthropogenic activity threatens to disrupt this very balance. Therefore, it is essential and of utmost importance that we protect and conserve the environment by adopting sustainable development techniques rather than exploiting it whole outright.
How Can We Protect the Environment?
We all know the common saying that ‘charity begins at home.’ Similarly, protecting our planet and its environment begins from home. It is essential to preserve and protect the environment to secure the Earth’s future, life, and consequently, the human race, or everything will simply be wiped out.
Mentioned below is a list of some small steps you can take and some changes you can make to your everyday lifestyle to protect the environment without much pressure or trouble. When undertaken by the majority of the people, these small methods can bring about drastic changes for the better. The least we can do along with this is help spread awareness about the issue.
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
Reduce your waste, reuse your waste, and recycle your waste. Follow the 3 ‘R’s to do your bit in conserving the environment. This method minimizes waste to a great extent and keeps the environment clean.
Volunteering for social work to maintain the environment is another effective way to contribute towards its wellbeing. Nearly 79% of the land area on Earth is littered. Volunteering for cleaning campaigns, picking garbage off the streets and beautiful natural surroundings that have been trashed is an essential aspect of keeping the environment clean and safe for everyone.
Planting trees is the most common and textbook method for caring for the environment. Increasing the green cover on Earth reduces the carbon footprint considerably, thereby minimizing the negative effects on the environment to a great extent. It also helps in cleansing the air and improving its quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
Scientists have concluded that a 15.83% reduction has occurred in the green cover in the last century. The average carbon footprint of an individual is a whopping 4 tons annually. We need to turn the tables quickly to protect nature from man’s onslaught.
Composting may sound like a tedious or grand task, but it isn’t. It is relatively simple, given that you possess the required knowledge and will. It is easy to set up a small kitchen garden and build compost within it. This helps you eliminate your organic waste in a more nature-friendly manner while increasing the air quality around your house. It also provides you with fresh manure for your plants and improves the soil quality.
Choose to walk, ride a bicycle, take public transport, or carpool with friends, family, and colleagues whenever possible. This will make fewer vehicles ply on the road, reducing gaseous emissions to a great extent. It turns out it even costs less. Gaseous emissions in the air are poisonous and can lead to serious issues like acid rain. By limiting the issue at the source, itself, we make it easier for the environment to heal.
Choose sustainable development measures over plain exploitation. Sustainable development allows the Earth the means to survive in the future as well by protecting the environment. Our short-term greed and luxury are unjustified in far sight. We have to preserve the environment for the coming generations to preserve life on Earth because if we don’t, scientists predict that the natural balance will be wiped out permanently in the next 100 years if we keep destroying it at the current rate.
Try and go organic wherever possible. Be it food, daily products, or clothing, choose organic substances over inorganic ones as much as you can. Cut down on plastic and other poisonous and harmful chemical compounds as they severely harm the environment and lead to major problems like biomagnification and eutrophication.
Conserve resources like water and electricity. Cut down on their use and do not waste unnecessarily. Some simple ways to do this include –
- Fix leaky pipes and faucets.
- Properly insulate indoor areas.
- Harvest rainwater and store it for daily use.
- Use LEDs in place of incandescent bulbs as they are more energy-efficient.
- Use ceiling fans in place air conditioners and heaters as much as possible.
- Shorten your shower lengths and avoid hot water baths.
Buying local, supports local businesses, also reduces the packaging that your product comes with. This way, you get fresher items with less or no plastic altogether, reducing the environment’s negative impact. You can also carry cloth or jute shopping bags instead of using plastic ones. Reducing plastic will be very helpful as it won’t add to the ever-increasing amount of plastic waste. Currently, about 91% of plastic ever produced is not recycled yet.
Spread the Word
Spreading awareness is the least that anyone could do. Educating people about the environment and the harm, they cause to it unknowingly can be a huge eye-opener for thousands of people. Volunteering to teach young children and middle-aged people alike can prove to be worth the effort in preserving and protecting the environment for years to come.
The environment bestows life upon this Earth, and without it, everything is as good as dead. To cherish this gift, we must protect our environment at all costs. We need to give back to the Earth all that it has given to us. Even if we cannot protect the Earth by ourselves, we surely can allow it to heal itself.
We have to cut down on our selfish and harmful activities and work on contributing productively. Adopting techniques and coming up with measures on how we can protect the environment should be our goal. Together we can protect our environment and save the Earth.