Two significant issues are impacting the global environment that we can control: water and air pollution. By understanding the consequences and learning how to mitigate them, you can become part of the solution and make the world a better place not only for us but for future generations as well.
Pollutants in the air come from many different sources: car emissions, factory chemicals, and gases from landfill waste tip the ozone in an unhealthy direction. According to Ourworldindata.org, “air pollution is attributed to 9% of deaths globally,” and in “2017, it was responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths” worldwide. Many people contribute to these issues without even realizing it. Here are a few things you can do to stop being part of the problem.
- Ride your bike instead of using your car.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle. This age-old campaign will always be relevant.
- Source products from eco-friendly companies. You can check their websites to see their environmental practices.
- Cut down on waste by buying package-free products.
- Ask for deliveries from larger companies like Amazon to be made on a specific day so that they use less packaging to deliver them.
- Purchase gifts and products from small businesses. Their carbon footprints are tiny in comparison to larger corporations.
In 2020, the United Nations compiled a report on water pollution and its impacts across the globe. The statistics are heart-wrenching. In their report, they say that “2.2 billion people currently do not have access to safely managed drinking water, and 4.2 billion, or 55% of the world’s population, are without safely managed sanitation.” This doesn’t even account for the impact on flora and fauna within oceans, rivers, and lakes worldwide. The Conservation Organization estimates that there is “more plastic waste than fish” in our oceans. They say that annually, over “17.6 billion pounds — or the equivalent of nearly 57,000 blue whales” of plastic. How can you help?
- Pay attention to plastic use. By reducing the amount of plastic you’re contributing, you can assure that it isn’t landing in our waterways.
- Volunteer to clean up local waterways. There are many organizations that you can sign up with to get started, or you can take a stroll with a bag and do it on your own.
- Have your car serviced regularly and make sure the business you use properly disposes of their waste. Cars often leak materials onto roads, which rain then washes into waterways. Getting it serviced reduces these leaks.
- Properly dispose of your hazardous wastes, such as paints and oils. If you pour them down a drain, they go directly into the water system.
- Clean up hazardous spills correctly. Use kitty litter to absorb hazardous materials and throw them away in the trash, do not rinse them with a hose down a storm drain.
By changing a few habits and staying conscious of how you affect the environment around you, you can make the world that much better all by yourself! Thanks for being part of the remedy!