Earth Day 2014
Robin @ Kids Matter
Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. Earth is an amazing and beautiful place. Our ecosystem is complicated, and we have to take care to keep it in balance to preserve the planet for ourselves and future generations.
Rainforests that once covered 15% of the earth’s land, now only cover 6%. At this rate, we will probably consume the remaining rainforests in less than 40 years. Why is this important? Major deforestation also brings pollution, soil erosion, malaria epidemics, leads to the extinction of plants and animals that existed in those forests; there is less rain, less oxygen, and increased threat of global warming.
Over three million tons of toxic chemicals are released by factories into the land, air and water each year. There are many sources of pollution including: chemical and nuclear plants, oil refineries, human sewage, littering, and etc. Pollution disturbs that balance in our ecosystem and can lead to serious changes in our environment such as increased illnesses, poor air quality, polluted drinking water, and etc. We can fight this by cutting down on landfill waste and reusing items and recycling others. Remember the old saying, “reduce, reuse, and recycle”? We can cut down on air pollution by driving less, (carpool or walk if you can!) and by quitting smoking. Some types of pollution are out of our personal control, but we can contact our elected representatives to let them know how important protecting the environment is to us.
After this cold winter that we just had, it may be hard to believe, but climate change does exist. The global temperature has been going up, and will continue to do so unless we make changes. Small changes in temperature can really have a big impact on climate and weather around the globe. Many places have had increases in the number of droughts or floods, along with more frequent and severe heat waves. As the ocean begins to warm, even a little bit, the glaciers begin to melt, which causes the sea level to rise. This changes the balance in our eco-system and will probably present challenges to society and the environment far into the future.
These issues are just a few that affect our planet. Dealing with them is not easy or always cheap. So remember, when you invest in the environment, you invest in the future. Explore the sources below to learn actions you can take today to go green!
The EPA website is also a great source for tips on what you can do to go. An easy list of what you can do at home:
- Replace the five most used light fixtures or light bulbs to energy star ones.
- Look for energy star appliances when buying new ones for your home.
- Heat and cool smartly; change filters, use a programmable thermostat, have your equipment maintained to make sure it is operating effectively.
- Seal and insulate your home.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
- Use water efficiently. Repair leaky toilet and faucets, use the dishwasher only when full, and don’t let water run while brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Be green in your yard. Compost your garbage
- Purchase green power such as solar energy.
- Calculate your household’s carbon footprint, and reduce it.
- Spread the word.