What is Environmental Awareness?
Environmental awareness or “going green” is the act of being mindful of the natural environment and making economic choices that aren’t harmful to the Earth. Purchasing a glass or ceramic water bottle instead of using disposable plastic water bottles can be an example of how someone can start to go green. Plastic takes an incredibly long time to break down, and a significant percentage of plastic makes it to the oceans where it kills animal and plant life. Going green might also mean using an all-natural hair care product, instead of a can of aerosol spray containing toxic chemicals.
In recent years, environmental awareness has gained increased attention. It's fair to say it's become a bit of a trend. From environmentally friendly tiny homes to organic food environmental awareness is a hot topic. However it is nothing new, and it ought to be more than a passing fad because of its importance. Environmentally friendly homes and building materials are a great place to start. In recent years, advanced nations have become more aware of harmful building materials, such as asbestos, lead-based paint, lead pipes, and others. People can demonstrate environmental awareness by choosing to use building materials that are natural and that do not hurt the environment. Wood, stone, brick, copper, and other materials are excellent choices. Going along with the home theme, conserving energy is another way to demonstrate environmental awareness. One easy way of conserving energy is by turning lights off when not in use. Some people even install solar panels and other types of alternative energy sources.
Before you can begin promoting environmental awareness in your community, you must first make sure that you have a thorough understanding of environmental issues. A good course of action that ensures your continued participation is to pick an environmental issue that strikes you as the most urgent. The amount of environmental issues seems limitless, and while they are all important, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Try choosing one issue to focus on at a time.
Examples of Environmental Issues
Oil Drilling - This issue is one that causes a great deal of environmental destruction. Our dependence on fossil fuels affects every aspect of the world. Oil spills and offshore drilling poisons marine life, and the combustion of fossil fuels add to the increased atmospheric CO₂, which causes the progression of global warming and ocean acidification. This is a multifaceted issue and is a good cause to get involved with because it covers such a broad spectrum of issues.
Deforestation - Millions of acres of forest are cut down for industrial benefits, such as large-scale farming, oil mining, and the production of paper goods. Deforestation causes wildlife and biodiversity extinction because the loss of habitat threatens many species’ existence. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has a Red List of environmentally threatened species with up-to-date information.
Production of Plastic Goods - Currently our society creates a great deal of waste and much of that waste consists of plastic. This waste ends up all over the globe in both land and water, a good example is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Not only is plastic waste an issue, but the production of plastic is also dependent on fossil fuel combustion. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in 2010 191 million barrels of liquid petroleum gases and natural gas liquids were used in the U.S. to produce plastic goods.
Once you have chosen your cause and have started a personal or community project, share it with the world! Get your coworkers, neighbors, friends, family, or even your local government involved. It’s much easier and more effective to spread environmental awareness and start a local project so you can collaborate with others in your community.
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