Day by day, the state of our environment worsens. In an increasingly plastic-based and pollution-emitting world, being environmentally conscious is becoming more and more difficult. As we make our way through the first few months of 2018, many begin to break New Year’s resolutions regarding efforts to help fight climate change. Like most resolutions, these are quickly abandoned in the first few weeks of the new year.
Many aspects of our daily lives cause unbearable amounts of pollution. More specifically, the plastic industry is slowly killing our planet. In 2018, you can find plastic in virtually anything, from water bottles to bags and packaging. Many are aware of the negative effects of plastic in the world, but this doesn’t seem to create a noticeable shift in consumer trends. For example, microbeads are small pieces of plastic usually found in face scrubs, face washes and toothpaste. Once these products are used, the beads do not break down; they simply go down the drain, and eventually end up seeping into our environment. These beads eventually make their way into our lakes and oceans and are consumed by fish. Not only do these beads cause hormonal problems for the fish, but their bi-products end up contaminating our food.
The Canadian government has announced bans on microbeads, stating that they will no longer be included in any product starting July 1st, 2018. While this is a step in the right direction, microbeads still remain in products currently on the market. They also remain in our lakes and oceans.
Sadly, when it comes to plastic, microbeads are not the only problem. The plastic water bottle industry remains relatively continuous as they seem to be available to almost everyone. Not only do these mass-producing companies contribute to the world’s immense stockpile of unrecyclable plastic, but one bottle of water requires approximately 1.39 litres of water to be produced.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do if you, too, are worried about the state of our environment and are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint. For one, consider reducing your meat intake. The meat industry not only causes outrageous amounts of pollution but it also requires immense amounts of water to produce its products. Another way could include offsetting the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere with companies like Carbonfund, allowing you to take part in projects reducing your individual carbon footprint. This is accomplished by planting trees to set up renewable energy projects in smaller communities.
Students can also turn to a Google alternative: Ecosia. This search engine provides exactly the same services provided by Google; the only difference is that Ecosia allows you to plant trees with your searches. For every 40 or so searches, Ecosia plants a tree in countries such as Peru, Madagascar, Brazil, Nicaragua and Ethiopia, all from ad revenue generated on their browser.
Finally, any students looking to become more involved in creating a more sustainable world can join Glendon’s chapter of Roots and Shoots, Jane Goodall’s educational conservation program. Our club works towards making student life more sustainable while allowing participants to play an active role in Jane Goodall’s global community.So, if something as simple as buying a reusable water bottle or switching search engines allows you to reduce your carbon footprint, what are you waiting for, Glendon?