The world is currently dealing with numerous environmental issues. The most important one, of late, is the massive bushfires in Australia, which has claimed the lives of about one billion animals. In other parts of the world, natural disasters are occurring, too, destroying important natural resources and lives.
It’s clear that the environment is often too big for humanity to handle, but bigger than life as it is, conscientious efforts can have a significant impact on its current condition.
Environmental Protection Should Be a Global Movement
One of the inspiring examples of how thoughtful efforts can make a difference in the environment is the decision of the Thai government to implement a tourism ban in Maya Beach.
After the destruction wrought by over-tourism, the government put an indefinite halt on tourism at the said famous beach in Ko Phi Phi Ley Island. Six months after the closure, the coral ecosystem showed great improvement and sharks started swimming happily near the shore.
In other parts of the globe, continuous efforts are being carried out to protect and restore the environment. But, one of the most important of these is the encouragement for everybody to become an ambassador for nature.
Indeed, among the essential responsibilities of humankind is to be the steward of the Earth. However, over time, most people have forgotten that this is a universe-ordained duty. Therefore, a renewal of the mind is necessary for people to embrace this duty, and it takes dedicated individuals to spur this into a full-blown global movement.
You Can Make a Difference in Big and Small Ways
The amazing thing about environmental protection is it comes in different forms, and every little bit helps. So, if you wish to contribute more to this vital objective, here are seven easy ways for you to do so.
1. Support organisations that are committed to doing the work
Environmental conservation groups need all the support that they can get. You can donate to their cause, volunteer your time to participate in their activities, and even join as a member.
These groups work with a variety of environmental experts so they can spread the right information and message to educate as many people as they can. At the same time, they are often the first to take action in the occurrence of environmental disasters. Showing support for their work in these ways can make a huge difference.
2. Switch to green products
Green products are available in abundance in today’s markets. Making a switch to these can lessen the amount of non-biodegradable materials that end up in landfills, and somehow also find their way in the different bodies of water.
Switch your plastic straws to bamboo or reusable metal ones. Likewise, opt for 100 percent cotton shirts that do not get treated with toxic chemicals like other fabrics. Opt for non-chemical based cleaning solutions such as white vinegar or lemon juice.
3. Recycle as much as you can
Find new uses for all the plastic products that make their way to your daily life. For example, all the water bottles can be recycled into small planters for kitchen herbs. Use those plastic bags from grocers repeatedly until they could no longer be used. And find recycling centres if you’re already out of ideas on how to reuse, repurpose, and recycle.
Such efforts can reduce the amount of waste that every household produces. At the same time, this can also minimise the occurrence of plastic making its way to bodies of water and killing precious marine life.
4. Shop local
Studies reveal that one of the leading benefits of shopping local is it can reduce the amount of carbon emissions created by the long-distance transit between sources and distributors that contributes to global warming.
But aside from this environmental benefit, this also helps the local business economy. Farmers can boost their income, and with solid support from their community, they may even be inspired to expand their offerings (such as set up restaurants or develop new products) to cater to ever-growing demands effectively.
5. Continue to learn
There are so many materials available online that are all about living eco-responsibly. Read these to see new ways to demonstrate your commitment to upholding the welfare of the environment.
You can even join the eco-conscious activities that educational and recreational facilities offer. You’ll learn how a lot of human activities affect the animal kingdom in these facilities.
Not only that, conservationists offer a myriad of programs as well.
As mentioned earlier, you can work toward being an Ambassador for Nature. Connect with Nature in the UAE is inviting young people to strengthen the movement to build a greener future. Through this program, you can exchange ideas with like-minded people and work on initiatives together that can encourage individuals and communities to live a more environmentally-responsible life.
Take Action Now
There’s no better time to make lifestyle changes and efforts to protect the environment. Sooner is always better than later, no matter how big or small your efforts may seem.
Rasha El Saleh is the Conservation Education and Outreach Coordinator in the education team of Emirates Nature-WWF working on its programme, Connect with Nature. She leads the outreach and youth empowerment aspect in growing the Connect with Nature community within the UAE and providing opportunities for youth to lead in this community, in addition to supporting partnerships with vendors supporting and promoting active aspects of the programme.