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According to a United Nations report, humans have only 12 years before climate change reaches levels out of human control. Yes, that’s correct, just 12 and not 50 or 100 years. It is upsetting to hear this, but the environment is in terrible shape. Humans damage the environment daily and aggravate climate change through various actions and practices.
People are ignoring the situation and are not facing it. It is about time we took action to save our planet. Temperatures are rising, and biodiversity is disappearing at an alarming rate; if this persists, the environment will not be able to survive. Without the environment, what future do we have?
What can you do for the environment as a responsible individual and citizen? Change is essential at the individual level; even if just one person becomes environmentally conscious, the world can become a better place. A single person can do much to limit ecological destruction while influencing others to change. So how to become environmentally conscious?
Here are some ways you can become an environmentally conscious person:
The first step towards becoming environmentally conscious is awareness. Awareness is crucial because if you don’t know how or in what way humans are damaging the environment, you can’t change. Almost 40 percent of adults globally have never heard about climate change. The population in developing countries, where climate change impacts are higher, are less likely to have heard about climate change than populations in developed countries.
To become environmentally conscious, read new articles and research papers about the current state of the environment. Watching environmental documentaries is one of the best ways to gain information about climate change and global warming. Did you know that the food you consume, the clothes you purchase, the water you drink, the transport you use, the luxury you want, etc., all have an environmental impact? According to experts, the food or agricultural industry (especially animal agriculture) has the biggest environmental impact. Meat accounts for 60 percent of global emissions from food production. Observing and changing our daily intake can have numerous environmental benefits.
The international food trade contributes to several environmental issues such as air pollution, water pollution, biodiversity loss, and more.
Purchasing local homegrown food is eco-friendly and sustainable. It benefits the environment by reducing food miles. Food miles means the distance that food travels to reach your supermarket. The more food miles collected during transportation, the more fossil fuels are burned, resulting in more greenhouse gas emissions. Imported food travels hundreds of miles to reach markets through planes, ships, trains, or trucks. Purchasing food grown in your region can reduce emissions and food miles.
Purchasing local food can also protect local land and biodiversity. Purchasing local products helps support local farmers and markets. Thus, local farmers earn a good income and are less likely to sell their land for industrial purposes.
Today, several people worldwide do not value and recognize the importance of water until they face severe water shortage issues. Only 3 percent of water in the world is freshwater, and around two-thirds of that freshwater is in the form of ice. 1.1 billion people globally do not have access to fresh water. Every year certain regions around the world face severe water scarcity. Droughts are becoming frequent and intense as climate change worsens.
Considering the world’s water crisis, it is important to use water wisely. We waste water every day without even realizing it. When you keep the tap running while brushing, showering, washing utensils and clothes, or forget to fix leaky faucets and pipes, all that water is wasted and could have been saved for the future.
We have all studied trees’ importance for the environment in school. Several tree-planting campaigns are held regularly around the world. You may hear protests against governments or businesses trying to cut down trees.
Being an environmentally conscious person means planting and protecting trees. No amount of trees is too much for the earth. So wherever and whenever you can, plant trees.
Trees help reduce air pollution levels, combat toxic pollutants and particles, cool the environment, protect biodiversity, tackle natural disasters, and more. Planting trees and protecting forests is the best natural solution to mitigate climate change.