The impacts of our collective overproduction and -consumption on our our natural world are increasingly clear to see, whether it is through deadly weather disasters brought about by an unstable climate, or a rapid decline in wildlife populations across land, sea and freshwater.
Unsustainable agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure projects, mining and energy, are leading to unprecedented biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, overexploitation, pollution and climate change.
Forests are under pressure like never before, through unabated deforestation. 170 million hectares of additional deforestation will occur by 2030, driven by large- and small-scale livestock farming and soy and palm oil production.
Our oceans are under great stress. We dump plastic and toxic chemicals into the sea, poisoning our own food. We catch fish wastefully and unsustainably, with 90% of the world’s fish stocks overfished.
And then there is the massive plastic waste crisis engulfing the world. Only 9% of plastic has ever been recycled, and today the recycling system is breaking down. Plastic is being landfilled, burned or dispatched to developing nations, where it is often disposed of improperly, to the detriment of people who can least afford to deal with the consequences. Plastic waste and microplastics are found everywhere from whales’ stomachs to aquifers deep underground.
So this depressing state of the planet leads us to the question: what can we do about it as ordinary people? Is there indeed anything we can do to bring about real sustainability and ensure that earth remains an inhabitable place for future generations and all its species?
We love this practical, no-holds-barred list of 20 things you can do to help save our planet by Lauren Perry on Thought Catalog. Start small or big, but start today, because as eco-warrior Lauren explains: “No one person can change the world, but together, if we all choose changes to make and causes to fight for, we can change many things. The planet needs immediate help, and your everyday actions matter. We can’t all be perfect, but we can all be conscious global citizens. Lead the way wherever you are, and take responsibility for your impact on this one place that we have to live. Make it a place that future generations will be able to live in, too.”
Sources: The Guardian, www.theguardian.com; World Economic Forum, www.weforum.org; Lauren Perry, www.thoughtcatalog.com.