Only ONE Earth
38 days out of the 365 days in a single year on Earth, humans collectively recognize the elephant in the room whereas on the other days it's often somehow ignored. Those 38 days out of the year are globally agreed-upon environmental observance days with some of the more popular ones being Earth Day and wildlife conservation day and the elephant in the room is the fact that our Earth is facing a triple planetary emergency.
Let's take a look at the three major emergent issues Mother Earth is facing:
- The planet is heating up too quickly for people and nature to adapt
- habitat loss and other pressures mean that an estimated 1 million species are threatened with extinction
- Pollution continues to poison our land, air, water
#OnlyOneEarth is the campaign for World Environment Day 2022
This weekend we're celebrating World Environment Day which falls on Sunday, June 5th. First being celebrated in June of 1973, this day has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and is now celebrated by millions each year.
At the bottom of this blog, you'll find some seriously helpful ways to get active this weekend and create better habits for yourself that will make a lasting difference in favor of our Earth.
Before that, we're going to take a look at some of the massive successes we should be celebrating that we collectively have helped to cause. Our progress can be seen but won't be obvious and enough until the greater half of our society transforms their lifestyles to focus on healing the earth instead of harming it.
Look at what we've done
The Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987 which was a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by halting the production and use of ozone-depleting substances. The ozone layer has healed at a rate of 1-3% per decade since the year 2000.
Astonishingly, an ozone hole still exists today forming every year over Antarctica in the spring and closing as the seasons change as stratospheric air blows in from lower altitudes.
We've restored millions of hectares of land and sea that were previously damaged by our harmful actions. An impressive 15% of Earth's land is formally protected by National Park and other protected areas and 10% of our territorial waters are protected. These percentages are only increasing as the US has declared 26 new National Parks in the past 50 years. Impressively the US is home to 1700 marine protected areas which cover 40% of the country's marine waters.
Due to the phasing out of lead gasoline and other lead products, the average amount of lead in humans has decreased by 70%.
The strict ban on the whaling industry has allowed the previously endangered humpback whale species to grow to a healthy size. In addition to this, the banning of DDT has allowed many bird species to grow out of the endangered list while we've also seen pandas come off the endangered list due to humans getting their act together.
Let's continue the progress!
3 pieces of advice that can help you be more kind to Earth
It's easy to feel discouraged and feel that this fight to save the climate is hopeless but that is far from the truth, together we have to transform our societies and economies to be more fair, inclusive, and connected with nature.
- Choose experiences instead of items. Everyone treats themselves to something every now and then and if you're buying a new item every time well then you're just going to have a lot of stuff laying around. Choosing experiences such as cultural events, team sports, learning new skills, and much more can add more value to your life without leaving a heavy environmental footprint.
- Ditch the disposables. For every paper cup, plastic fork, or paper bag you use there is an alternative option! Over the long run, these sustainable swaps can make a massive difference in our environment!
- Spread knowledge. Whether it is through your social media, in conversations at work or with friends and family, or perhaps even to a stranger spreading knowledge about the Earth's emergent issues and how we can solve them is more than worth your time.
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