The earth never needs our protection, we are protecting ourselves
As is known to all that sustainability has been a global concern, and one of the major hot topics is about the environment, which is global and determined. There is more and more natural phenomenon, such as global warming, is alerting us the importance of environmental protection, and it is urgent to protect the environment in order to achieve sustainability. Therefore, although what we do might makes only a small contribution to sustainability, achieving sustainability does require every one of us to get involved. So, let’s get to know about the importance of environmental protection and learn about what we can do to contribute to environmental protection.
Environmental problems and sustainability
The damage of environment has directly affected sustainability. Environmental problems refer to a series of problems that have been caused due to the destruction of the environment, including environmental pollution, land degradation and paucity of potable water supply. The most obvious one is the current global warming, the melting of glaciers; The destruction of the ecological balance leads to the damage of the ecological system, and the serious imbalance of the structure and function of the ecosystem; And many other problems that threaten the survival and development of human beings as a result of environmental destruction. Sustainability, in general term, is about “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Bruntland Report for the World Commission on Environment and Development, 1992). In this case, The Real World Coalition in 1996 pointed out that “the environment must be protected to preserve essential ecosystem functions and to provide for the wellbeing of future generations.” Therefore, environmental sustainability is concerned with issues such as environmental protection, resources saving and long-term health of ecosystems.
What are the challenges of environmental sustainability?
The following are the five environmental challenges to be faced, supported by data gathered from D’Ambrosi’s article and other online research results.
Air pollution and CO2 emissions are majorly caused by the transport we use in our everyday journeys, which are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings, or cause damage to the climate.
Loss of biodiversity
The loss of biodiversity is originally caused by the destruction of the environment, and this loss is irreversible. The reduced biological leads to reduced ecosystem services and eventually poses an immediate danger for food security, also for humankind.
Soil exploitation and overbuilding
One-third of food worldwide is wasted, increasing amount of food waste puts pressure on our resources. When food is wasted, all the resources used to grow it, deliver it and process it are wasted. This increases our carbon footprint, negatively impacting on global warming and climate change.
The two main reasons of desertification are ‘climatic variation’ and ‘human activities’. In the vulnerable ecosystems of arid and semi-arid areas, too much fuel wood is consumed, the natural vegetation is destroyed and the agricultural activities are overwhelmed. Desertification can affect human health through complex pathways.
Solutions for environmental challenges
- Opting a sustainable way of transporting and choosing to meet the energy demand through innovative technologies driven by clean energy is the first thing conscious people should do. Fossil fuels are history. In transportation, the sources of air pollution have been replaced by more innovative technologies for public and private vehicles;
- To protect the biodiversity, it is important to know that there are thousands of plant species that can be cultivated in a sustainable way;
Limit the effects of soil exploration;
- It is necessary to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and be respectful to what the plant gives to us;
- Choose the sustainable farming practices. Try to plant trees in the desert to slow the rate of desertification.
Small things we can do for environmental sustainability
To protect environment and to make environment sustainably, what we can do is limited, but there is a lot we can do.
- Use less air conditioning;
- Reduce the car exhaust and use bikes or public transportation;
- Turn off lights when you are not using and use energy-saving bulbs;
- If possible choose to eat more vegetable and less meat;
- To save paper is to protect forests.
With the development of society, there are more people are beginning to attach the importance of protecting the environment such as garbage classification and green travel. However, many people feel that environmental protection has nothing to do with them. But the truth is that, just like what a Chinese Environmentalist said that the earth never needs the protection of human beings, no matter it is 100 degrees below zero or 100 degrees above zero, only species will extinct. Therefore, to protect the environment is not about to protect the earth, but to protect ourselves. Many people think they just do one small thing and they can’t have much impact on sustainability. In fact, as long as everyone to make some small changes, it will add up to a big change. So, in order to achieve sustainability, the most important thing is that we all should start with small things, small things in everyday life, from the use of recycle bags, and even get into the habit of turning off the light such a small start.