Earthwise - Green Living / Parenting

Raising Earth-Conscious Children – Part One

We live in a time where the Earth has taken a lot of beatings, again and again. The Earth is running out of resources, and if we do not make changes both small and large in the near future, we may find ourselves without a suitable place to live in.

It is the responsibility of us all to take care of this beautiful world, and to conserve this home in which we live together. There are so many things we can do and so many steps we can take. There is simply no longer an excuse not to be earth-conscious and to take better care of this space.

Here are some ways we can make changes and become better citizens of the world that we hope to live in happily for many generations to come.

Why Being Earth Conscious Is So Important: The Facts

The Earth is the only place that is suitable for us to live in. We can’t just pack up and leave if things get bad, and for this reason among others, we need to make it a priority to treat it properly. The Earth has not been cared for enough by our generation or the generations before us. Abuse of it is rampant. As time has moved on, we have become aware of exactly what toll our actions are taking. If we care enough to make changes, now is the time. Here are some thoughts to digest.

Water

Water is essential to human life. Without it, we would die within a short period of time. Many people around the world do not have access to clean water. People are dying because they do not have a sufficient amount of water, or because the water they do have access to is not properly sanitized and can cause disease and death. If we do not curb our water use, we could essentially be left without enough in the future. This is a terrifying thought as a lack of water means death for all of us, as well as future generations.

Ecosystems

The Earth’s ecosystems are under attack. Many species are on the verge of going extinct because of our lack of respect for them. When any species is endangered, it doesn’t only affect that particular species, but also the other species around them, and all life itself. We are dependent on the delicate balance of nature, and when we harm the Earth and any of its inhabitants without regard, we are putting ourselves in danger.

This loss of biodiversity is doing the Earth a grave injustice. Overfishing is one such way where humans have demanded a massive volume of something for themselves that is simply not sustainable. It is estimated that by 2050, there may be no more commercial fish stocks left in the seas.

Petroleum

Petroleum is used to power 96% of the Earth’s transportation. Scientists are warning that we may be headed quickly toward a phenomenon called peak oil, which occurs when the production of global petroleum goes to its maximum level and then drops. It was once thought that this phenomenon was a long way off, but it appears to be looming more closely in the future than once thought.

Our Carbon Footprint

We as individuals and families each have what is referred to as a carbon footprint. This refers to the amount of greenhouse gases used to support human activities. It should be our goal to reduce our own carbon footprints, and to encourage those around us to do the same. It only makes sense to want to take steps to reduce one’s global footprint when you see the impact you can make on the world. Whether that impact is for good or bad is essentially up to you.

Pollution

Our water, air and soil is being polluted constantly by industries that are focused solely on making money. Vehicles are putting an overwhelming amount of pollution into the air, plastic garbage is floating in the ocean, and heavy metals are seeping into the soil. We must rise up as individuals and do two things. First, we must take care of our own amount of waste and cut down on consumption of products. Second, we must encourage others to do the same. We can start the change, and then we can promote it among everyone else.

Deforestation

aising Earth-Conscious Children - Part OneAnother major concern in our time is deforestation. At this point in time, forests cover roughly 30% of the Earth’s surface. But with all the clearing of forests on a huge scale, the land has been damaged and left without its former health. This has a negative impact on the world and its ecosystems. Short-term profit and greed are satisfied while the Earth pays a steep price. Both plants and animals in these areas suffer and are destroyed in a myriad of ways. Wildlife lose their homes and become endangered, and plants often times cease to exist.

What Does It Mean to “Go Green”

The phrase “go green” has different meanings to different people. Sometimes when that phrase is spoken, people think of nature-loving recluses sitting on their back porch, far away from civilization. Another common misconception of “going green” is of a very wealthy individual who has built their multi-billion dollar house with solar panels and its own fancy water system.

But going green isn’t any more about these misconceptions or extremes than it is about just living in balance with nature. You don’t have to be a hard-core environmentalist to make positive chances for the Earth (not that there’s anything wrong with being a hard-core environmentalist, if you are).

There are many small ways you can go green, and many areas to go green in. Why not start in the home by making many small changes that add up to something significant? Turn the water off when you are brushing your teeth. Turn the heat down at night and compensate by using a warmer quilt. Buy less produce and eat everything you buy instead of wasting it.

When you are out of your home, try some of these suggestions to do your part in taking care of the Earth. Take your own mug to the local coffee shop in order to save the world from yet another plastic cup being tossed. Don’t drive around without a purpose in where you are going. Borrow books from the library instead of having to buy yourself a copy of every book you read.

You are also free to make bigger changes… the stereotypical changes that all the wealthy people are admired for. Rip out your ceilings and install those solar panels if you decide. Do as much or as little as you are prepared for and able to complete.

 

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