Why do I care about our environment when caring for our environment is no easy task?
If you would have told me 15, even 10 years ago, that I would even put a moment of thought into my action into such a thing as Earth, I probably would have reacted in such a way that you’d think twice about letting me care about ANYTHING of yours.
But here I am, 24, and I sleep and live environmental issues. It’s all-consuming. It’s kind of struggle because I run into so few people who care or can understand my passion, but I just take care deep breaths and keep on, moving on. So how did I began my journey to care about our environment?
Back when I was in community college, I had to take an environmental science class. I needed another science credit and I could take chemistry, anatomy and physiology, or…you guessed environmental science. As you can see, one is unlike the others. There was no way I was going to try to take chemistry. Anatomy and physiology was doable, but as much as I thought I would despise it, I just wanted something a tad bit easier. Also, I had the professor before and he was awesome.
So fast forward to me sulking in class. I rarely paid attention, didn’t take notes and counted down the minutes till class was over. I was there for one thing and one thing only. An easy A.
But then one day, he started talking about a magazine article he had read about the future of our planet. It was the first time I had every really heard WHY I should care for the environment. The article said that in x (I missed that part because I hadn’t quite started to pay attention) number of years, our environment will be so polluted that we will no longer be able to drink the water, grow anything, or breathe the air. The US will be divided into four sections, protected by huge plexiglass domes. Scientists will have to develop artificial sunlight, water, soil- you name it because the natural sources will be too toxic for us to live. For those who are thinking this is crazy and why of all the things would this get me interested? You’re right, I did think it was crazy and even the professor admitted that he didn’t know if it was true, but it did get me thinking.
You see, I rarely believe or cared about anything related to the environment. Nobody ever told me WHY I should care about our environment. People told me not to waste gas, but they never really told me why other than ‘it’s bad for the Earth’. People told me to recycle, but never said why other than ‘it’s good for the Earth.’ So I just thought how dare you and did what I wanted. This was the first thing that ever made me think about my actions and why I should care. So, knowing that it was probably an exaggeration, I went home to see if I could find the article. I couldn’t, but I found tons of information about the turmoil going on. I never lived in a place that was really overly affected by pollution, litter, trash or anything, so I never saw any of the consequences my actions were having.
Although, I learned about many areas of environmental concern, one area caught my interest above all the rest. Trash. I loved learning about how long things took to decompose, how much energy was saved in recycling, what could be recycled and why other things couldn’t, but above all I loved the solutions that trash had to offer. Although, energy conservation is fun and the focus for most environmentalists, trash had much more interesting solutions. Sure, there is reduce, you simply stop using so much stuff that you don’t need, which even when I was younger I was very good at that because I hated spending money. Then recycling is slightly more exciting, but then there is upcycling. Upcycling takes even things that seem completely useless and makes something new out of them. And that’s how I started my journey to care for our environment.
Recycling still has it’s limitations because it relies on technology, but the only limit to upcycling is human creativity.
So that is my story on how I came to care about our environment. I never found the magazine article, but I found passion and purpose instead. I also found many more reasons to care about the environment over the past few years.
Environmental issues are almost always human rights issues.
One excuse people often use not to care about the environment is they care more about people. Unfortunately, in many cases they often affect each other.
The electronics industry always comes to mind when I think of this. From the time the materials are mined, to the when they are built in the factories until we throw them away or recycle them, electronics are a human rights and environmental nightmare.Many, if not all, electronics are made in factories that use child labor and workers that have to work impossible hours at ridiculously low wages. Many of the product lines have leukemia causing substances like benzene, formaldehyde, arsenic and radioactive material. In addition to hazardous working conditions, medical services are not covered through these companies.
Not only do these company use sub par conditions to make the electronics, but they also have to mine for these materials. Commonly used materials are copper, cobalt and coltan and children between 5 and 14 are commonly used in these mines. The numerous health risks associated with mining these materials are why the UN’s International Labor Organization called mining one of the worst forms of child labor.This woman lost her hands making LG flat screens, which shed her blood, I’m sure, but she can’t work and she was never paid a decent wage, so she could save money. Unless, she wins the law suit, her life is basically over. There are many other people who have lost their lives as a direct result of our greed and overconsumption.
Once, we are done with our electronics, many of them go back to these countries. The problem is the the numerous toxic materials leach into the water, ground and air, which contribute to the health problems in these countries.
These are just some of the ways that environmental issues are human rights issues and vice versa. If you care about people, you need to care about our environment.
Ask any kid what their favorite animal is and you’ll probably hear everything from cat to wolf to eagle to whatever else. There are so many organisms that make up this world and the best thing is that not only are they pretty or majestic, but they have a purpose. Each one fills a special niche in the environment. For instance, without vultures are essential to the ecosystem because they help dispose of dead animals that would otherwise be a breeding ground for diseases. Ants, for some homeowners can be a disgusting nuisance, actually are very important also. They aid in decomposition and help aerate the soil adding nutrients as they go, even more so than earthworms. They also help keep pests at bay, such as flies, fleas and even termites.
The funny thing about us humans is we fail to realize that nature has a solution for everything and it’s called the ecosystem. We mess it up with our sprays and pesticides because instead of getting rid of just the problem, we get rid of the problem and the solution. Preserving diversity and taking care of our solutions is on of the major reasons I care about our environment.
Because It’s Fun
I would say that as time goes on a small portion of humanity gets smarter and more creative, but the rest of use the best ideas and don’t really contribute the overall genius of the planet. Going green isn’t just about going without, it’s also what can we do instead. Instead of just going to buy new clothes just because, going to the store where you know what you’re going to get is exactly what everyone else has, why not go to a thrift store and pick out something different and interesting. You can be creative in your choices, think outside the box. Instead of going out to buy a new piece of jewelry, which can cost you quite a bit of money and will be exactly the same as what everyone else has, why not try to make your own out of materials you have around your house?
We can’t eat money
I’m sure that at one point or another we’ve all seen the picture that says “Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”
This about says it all. No matter how far we remove ourselves from nature through technology, our way of life relies on nature. For instance, bees. Bees are responsible, directly and indirectly, for 30 percent of the world’s crops and 90 percent of our wild plants. Yet, they’re now on the endangered species list. Whether you blame it on parasites, pesticides that contribute directly or indirectly making bees more susceptible to parasites and diseases, cell phones, whatever else, it boils down to money. More money is made for more powerful companies that can be made through agriculture.
They’re more concerned with making money than making sure people have something to eat.Fracking is another example of this. In Oklahoma, the oil industries get millions in tax subsidies, but there is increasing evidence about the damage it’s doing to our land. Do we even stop to do the research? No, earthquake after earthquake, video of water on fire after video, we just keep pumping, hoping for the best. And the average Oklahoman roots from afar. What they don’t understand, is those oil companies pump every last drop, destroy our homes, ruin our water, leave us with nothing then run off to somewhere else.
For every list out there talking about we should care for our environment, it will almost definitely say something about wanting to help future generations and there’s a good reason for that. People always live for the now. YOLO, they’ll say, but that’s a silly way to live. When I think about the world running out of landfill space, we have to start using the Grand Canyon has a dumpster, it makes me want to claw someone’s eyes out. Granted this might be a long time away, but it is the most beautiful thing God has ever created and nothing would be worse than people not being able to experience that. The same thing with oceans. They are one of the most awesome things a person can experience- how selfish are we for polluting that experience with something we enjoyed for five seconds? I lot of people say they care for their family. That might be true, but many of our daily actions suggest otherwise, especially when it comes to how we care about our environment.
Not just experiences, but literally taking away the things people need to live such as clean air, clean water and land to grow things. It makes me angry to even think about the possibility and that sort of stuff is already happening because of fracking, pesticides, factories, landfills in third world countries where our electronics go to die, when we’ve deemed them no longer good enough for us. Our general careless mentality really is quite disgusting and appalling.
God Told Me To
Though I don’t get much support on this issue from my fellow Christians, I believe whole-heartedly, I am supposed to care about God’s creation. I am a weird mix because there’s not a lot of environmentalists, who are Christians or vice versa. I find it hard to fit into either camp, but I know I fit in with Jesus and that’s fine with me. It’s not about my ego, it’s not about going against the flow, it’s about loving and caring for what God gave us. I get their argument, people first, but when you go back to point one or these many other reasons, it just doesn’t make sense. God calls us all for different purposes. We have a mission and mine just happens to be different. That’s OK, if we all work together, we can get the job done!
Why Do You Care About Our Environment
So why do you care about the environment or why don’t you? If you don’t, I don’t blame you. People who do say they care about our Earth, usually don’t why it’s important or even how to do it. Don’t take their word for it. I encourage you to do your research and find out for yourself the many fascinating problems facing our planet. I can guarantee that you’ll find something that catches your attention that you can sink your teeth into.
If you are one of the choir members, then please explore the reasons why you care about our environment. Be ready to defend your argument when the opportunity arises and please, don’t ever say to someone ‘stop being ignorant’. People throw that phrase around all the time like it means something. You can’t just stop being ignorant all of a sudden or even because you want to. It’s all about education. Some people may have never experienced anything in their life that would help them understand what it means to care about our environment, something or someone. To some the Earth might just be a big rock. A little education and patience goes a long way in helping people understand what it means to care for our environment.