We have all noticed how important it has become to be eco-friendly, but do you really know why. I think most people know that if we continue to put more pollutants into the air that we are going to contaminate the atmosphere and end up with greenhouse gases. And some of us know that a lot of waste ends up in landfill and remains there for hundreds, if not thousands of years, before breaking down, but in the meantime creates a sludge that is often toxic and can enter our waterways.
However, there is more to being environmentally friendly and living an earthly passionate life then reducing pollutants and toxins. Here are some of the reasons why we need to think about living an earthly passionate life.
Our children and our future
We all want to live a happy and healthy life, and we expect the same for future generations. As a parent I am very mindful to raise my kids in a safe and healthy environment, so it is terrible to consider that our food could be laced with chemicals, our air could be so polluted that we need to wear masks and our water needs filtering. This could be our future if we don’t consider how we affect our environment.
But there is more to it than just the effects on the future generation’s health. There will be the cost of living. Energy prices are increasing and will only continue to increase if we continue to use resources such as coal, gas and petrol. I find it frightening every time I get an energy bill. I hate to think what bills will be like in the future if we don’t consider alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.
To protect and save our waterways
Clean water is one of our most precious resources. Since moving to Australia I have seen how savvy Australians can be when it comes to saving water. You have to be when living in one of the hottest, driest climates, especially when afflicted with drought. The half flush toilet was created here. Nonetheless it is very easy to become complacent, especially when we want to have the latest housing and gardens. Using mains water to clean our cars, water our gardens and flushing our toilets is such a waste. Not forgetting those leaky taps.
Then if we think about the chemicals that are in our everyday products such as our household cleaners. Some of these chemicals don’t break down safely when they get into our waterways. Similarly pesticides and industrial waste, causes contamination in our lakes and reservoirs.
Being water conscious helps reduce the strain on our water treatment systems and ensures there's enough to go around. Using grey water in our gardens can reduce the impact on our fresh clean water. Changing our use of bottled water, reduces the impact on the environment because we will reduce the need for plastic bottles, and the energy it takes to manufacture and transport these bottles.
To save energy
Making the things we enjoy and use on a daily basis takes a lot of energy. As I have said already, our energy bills are only going to increase unless we start thinking about alternative resources. People have used natural resources over tens of thousands of years and following improvements in technologies we have accelerated this exploitation. A lot of these resources e.g. petroleum and coal, do not have an endless supply.
Some of the things we can do straight away is to conserve energy by turning off lights when not in use, fixing any leaking taps, installing energy efficient windows, lights and gadgets, proper insulation, and of course reducing our daily energy consumption.
It takes energy to produce electricity, of which much of it is produced by burning coal here in Australia. Have you ever thought about using a more sustainable energy provider? One that sources its energy from the likes of solar or wind. The more support given to renewable energy sources means there will be less need for the “dirty” energy.
To avoid toxins and chemicals in your life
The more I research this topic the more surprised I get as I find how many toxins or unsafe chemicals are in the everyday products we use. A lot of us are starting to use organic food to avoid toxins that can be found in our food, but there are many other items we need to consider such as the cleaners (for homes and ourselves), cosmetics, the gadgets we use and the clothes we wear.
Much of these toxins come from the production of these products, whether this is the pesticides used in the growth of the plants and food or in the manufacture of the products such as clothing. Therefore it makes sense to use products that are free of chemicals, such as Organic or Oek-tek certified products
To support farmers and producers
Many farm workers in developing countries are at huge risk of contracting diseases such as cancer, due to the use of pesticides. In these countries pesticides are poorly regulated, an estimated one million people are poisoned annually by pesticides.
Although regulations are in place in Australia the use of pesticides can cause health problems not only to the farmers if used incorrectly, but to the buyer due to the bill up of toxins in our bodies. By buying products that are free of toxic chemicals and produced by ethical means (Fairtrade certified) means it is safer not only for us, but for farmers and producers.
To maintain Biodiversity
Through land clearing, development of land and subdivision we have introduced pest species to terrestrial and marine ecosystems. With conventional farming, the planting of large plots of land with the same crop year after year has left the soil lacking in natural minerals and nutrients, which have to be replaced by chemical fertilisers in increasing amounts.
This makes these single crops more susceptible to pests, making farmers more reliant on pesticides. Genetic resistance is occurring in insects due to the overuse of certain pesticides. Organic farmers tend to grow smaller crops and encourages natural predators on their farms. They also practice crop rotation to add nutrients to the soil.
We need to create responsible habits in ourselves and teach our kids, especially in everyday activities that we can live an earthly passionate life without compromising our quality of life and reducing the financial burden.
Quote: We have not inherited the earth from our fathers; we are borrowing it from our children -Lester Brown.