Article by: Aditya Seth
Let’s face it - our ecosystems are dying off. There are a total of 10 ecosystems on Earth. These include forest ecosystems, grassland ecosystems, desert ecosystems, tundra ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems, and marine ecosystems. 25% of the Earth’s ecosystems have died. Forests are being shrunk due to humans cutting down trees to make money. Freshwater ecosystems are being polluted. All of these have detrimental effects on the surrounding plants and animals that live in the ecosystem. This includes habitat loss, species becoming endangered, and more! But it gets worse. These ecosystems are projected to degrade even more. 60% of coral reefs are expected to be gone in the next 30 years. Some may think “So what! It doesn’t affect me.”. Well actually, it does! In the process of damaging forests, we are contributing to our carbon footprint. Moreover, many of the resources are finite, meaning they are limited. At the rate we are using these finite resources, they will be gone before the future generations can use them. However there are easy ways that we as individuals can take to save and conserve the ecosystems. These require very little effort and is something that everyone can do.
Firstly, everyone can recycle. There are many common household objects that can be recycled including jars, wine bottles, broken glasses, plastic bottles, paper products, and much more! By recycling, we are are re-using those same materials for different purposes without having to use more resources. For example, sticky notes can be recycled to become pieces of paper in a notebook. 90% of all plastic bottles made don’t reach recycling places. Instead they sit in landfills for thousands of years, disintegrating slowly. Over time, plastic bottles accumulate and it becomes extremely harmful for the surrounding nature. One big example of this is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is a huge area in the Pacific Ocean that has debris consisting of plastic. It is harming wildlife that live near it since they are eating it or getting stuck in it. By simply throwing away certain objects in a different bin, you are doing your part in saving the Earth.
Reduce Consumption of Resources!
Secondly, everyone can reduce their consumption of resources. These resources include water, gas, electricity, and other finite things. There are many small things that can be done to reduce the use of these resources that will make a big difference. For example, only using washers and dryers when they are full. Although this a small thing to do, it has a big impact as it can save 1,000 gallons water per month!. If everyone replaced their light bulbs at home with energy-saving fluorescent lights, then it would be the equivalent of removing millions of cars from the streets. By shortening your shower by 1 minute per day, you can save 150 gallons of water per month!
Thirdly, everyone can compost. Composting is the act of decaying certain materials into compost, which can then be used as a plant fertilizer. Many things that you may be throwing away in the trash can is compostable. This includes, vegetable scraps, egg shells, tea bags, used napkins, spoiled milk, and much more! This natural plant fertilizer will help your plants grow better, save you money, and avoid littering.
If everyone does their part, then Earth will definately be a better place not just for us but also the environment around us.