Yesterday was World Environment Day and it was awesome to see how many more people are becoming eco-conscious. The environmental conversation is becoming more prominent. People want to learn more and they want to get involved. Days like yesterday are meant to invoke thoughts like how we treat our environment, what is our connection to it, and how can our everyday behavior help sustain it?
It’s actually not that easy to grasp and there’s an explanation for this. Environmental science encompasses several sciences. It includes studies of biology, chemistry, geology, physics, ecology, and many other natural sciences, their relationship to each other, and the larger schema they make up. It’s basically a lot to scientifically keep up with especially because the world is ever-changing in nature.
An important discussion in the environmental world (no pun intended) is collecting and analyzing data to interpret human behavior, the damage done to the environment, and how we can remediate that. One way that people can do that now is by Greening At the Local Level and calculating their ecological footprint. This is important because it allows you to understand which parts of your everyday life are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. The excess of greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere and cause climate change; a later domino effect of changes like food disparities, soil erosion (growing deserts), wildlife adapting to different habitats, and many, many others can be observed around the world.
Now, what is Earth Overshoot Day and how is it relevant? This is the day that our annual consumption demands exceed what the earth can regenerate in a year—within nature’s means.
Formerly known as Ecological Debt Day, the world’s average overshoot day is August 2nd which leaves us at a big deficit. For the rest of each year we are producing more greenhouse gases than the environment can cycle naturally. Every year the overshoot date may change depending on the consumption rates analyzed. See image below for earth overshoot dates in different parts of the world for 2018. This gives humanity a different perspective of the same concept. Making it easier to understand because not only can we relate it to our everyday lives but we can also draw the connection to how we’re responsible.
This year’s earth overshoot date is August 1st. So what are some things you can do to help the cause? The Global Footprint Network is taking a stand to #MoveTheDate. By encouraging people to make small changes in their everyday life, they’re also encouraging that we push the overshoot date back. With doing this, we allow nature to naturally cycle greenhouse gases without an overabundance and that helps the atmosphere from warming.
Some ways to get involved that seem minor but help greatly include:
a plant-based diet
collecting trash locally
talk to your representatives
What are some ways that you help prevent excess greenhouse gas emissions? Share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an Instagram feature! ✨
I’m going this to use this very appropriate week to spread awareness about oceanic pollution. I say appropriate because not only is today World Environment Day but this Thursday, June 8th, is World Oceans Day. So today I’ll be sharing information on the environmental problem of oceanic pollution and over the week I’ll go over some ways we can helplocally.
I’ll share a bit of personal background about myself. I have studied biology, environmental science, and environmental policy in higher educational institutions. (I struggled with changes of heart in majors like so many of us do…) But I’m not only familiar with those things because of learning about them, it’s also based on a natural passion and real love for the world. Personal indeed because I absolutely thrive when surrounded by nature and natural elements. Some of my dreams and aspirations include helping create a sustainable planet for us and future generations to come. Personal indeed but it is my passion and what feels like my life force.
National Geographic published this article Deepest Place on Earth Contains ‘Extraordinary’ Pollution Levels back in February 2017. Please take a moment to read if you can, if not, I’ve tried to summarize the info so you can continue reading. When I initially read the article, I was completely devastated by my own naive thinking. How could I honestly believe that the Mariana Trench would be untouched by human impact?
For starters, the Mariana Trench is the deepest known place of the ocean. It lies in the western Pacific Ocean, closer to the continent of Asia. With it being the deepest place in the ocean, it’s easy to get caught up thinking that it’s too remote for dangerous pollution to reach. But it’s quite the contrary and National Geographic has brought to light the extremely high levels of toxic pollutants built up in this area.
It’s needless to say that the source of this pollution is the industrialization in nearby countries over extended periods of time. It’s partly due to catastrophic weather that displaces chemicals that wouldn’t otherwise be in the ocean. But also, water flow is naturally slow there and it does not help the state of the Mariana Trench. There has been scientific evidence supporting high levels of toxins in animals living in those depths. But to fully grasp how this is an issue, you must understand the inter-connectedness of the ocean. The food “chain” or “web” that humans thrive on is connected to the ecosystems of the ocean and land alike.
This is an open-ended post because this could not possibly have an immediate resolution. The only “fixing” comes in creating awareness in conversations, preventing pollution, and changing our current behaviors to always consider where human impact will end up. Stay tuned for tomorrrow’s continued talk about oceanic pollution and how one woman in Costa Rica is trying to help via social media.
Stay green my friends!
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