The earth is ever-changing, and humans have the largest impact on the earth in creating those changes, for better or for worse. Unfortunately, many of those changes are, in fact, for the worst. In order to take care of our planet, we all need to work together to make decisions with our ecosystem in mind. This week we’re discussing the top three ways humans impact the environment, and how small adjustments can make a collective big difference.
Trash produced by humans is seemingly unending. In fact, the pollution crisis is becoming so extreme, that China just banned “foreign waste” in order to better focus on their own country’s trash, leaving the United States and Canada to fend for themselves in terms of recycling and managing garbage. The waste created on land only aids in polluting the air, leaving the United States with 147 million metric tons of air pollution emitted each year. The air quality over the world has seen a slight improvement over the years (especially once the harmful effect of aerosols was discovered.) However, there is much room for improvement.
How can you help? Reducing pollution starts right in the homes of the average person. Turn off any TV’s, lights, or energy consuming electronics when you don’t need them. Consider setting your air conditioning or refrigerators to less extreme temperatures, reducing the amount of energy needed. Give your car a checkup to ensure you don’t use more fuel than needed. Often times, small mechanical adjustments can help your car use less fuel, not only healing the environment but putting less pressure on your wallet as well. Also, if you haven’t already, start recycling. It’s the best thing you can do for Mother Nature. For more tips on how to adjust your life to help reduce land and air pollution, check out this list.
According to NASA, the Earth’s overall climate has increased about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. While weather changes on a daily basis, climate does not. Weather is what you see out your window, what you check when planning your vacation next week, and can vary greatly depending on where you live. Climate is the long-term pattern of weather in a specific area and is often studied and used to predict future trends in weather events. As temperature increases, arctic ice and glaciers melt, ocean levels are rising at a rate of 3.42mm per year. As water levels rise, the oceans absorb more heat which only perpetuates the problem.
You can help reduce global warming by implementing the use of renewable energy in your home and businesses. Using solar power is cleaner and puts less stress on the environment by limiting the use of coal and other fossil fuels. Sometimes your energy provider has access to clean energy, and by making a simple phone call you can switch the type of energy your home runs on. Additionally, by reducing pollution, global warming should gradually reduce as well. Taking small steps for a healthier environment impacts our entire ecosystem.
The ozone layer works as a shield from the sun to protect our skin from harmful rays. Without this layer of protection, being outside with exposed skin would be unbearable. By using three different oxygen atoms, the ozone gas breaks down ultraviolet light. Ozone-depleting substances (ODS), primarily made up of chlorine and bromine, enter into the atmosphere and strip one of the three oxygen atoms of its contacts. As the ozone layer weakens due to these harmful chemicals, plant life is endangered and animal life must adjust to the heightened UV exposure.
The chemicals you release into the atmosphere have the largest impact on the ozone layer, rather than the direct waste you produce. For example, the harsh cleaning products you use have a more direct impact on the ozone layer when in use, than when you throw the empty can in your garbage. That being said, try limiting yourself to mostly natural cleaning supplies and organic beauty products. Read the labels and educate yourself on what chemicals impact the ozone layer. Stray from pesticides and other gardening chemicals, as they also have an extremely negative impact on not only the soil but the ozone layer. Or, even better, sites like Pinterest have lots of DIY options for cleaning solutions to use around the house without using harmful chemicals.
As a people, we have a long way to go when improving the quality of our earth. J-Tech Solar is dedicated to improving the quality of our environment, and are here to help you achieve your eco-friendly goals through the use of renewable solar energy. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you help the planet.