The issues that plague our environment can be frightening and seemingly insurmountable. As renewable energy, reusable items, and global consciousness increase, what can we do each day to reverse the greatest challenges facing our planet?
What are ocean dead zones?
Dead zones, or “hypoxic” zones are large areas of water that are now uninhabitable. The oxygen levels are so low in these areas that no life can exist. The most notable dead zone in USA waters is an area in the Gulf of Mexico around the size of New Jersey.
The primary causation of oceanic dead zones is agricultural runoff by mass farming operations. The Mississippi River is responsible for carrying much of the waste fertilizer from the Midwest into the Gulf, causing algal blooms that can kill all life in the region.
In the kitchen
Eat more organic! Yes, the cost is greater but the investment into your own health and our planet are worthwhile. Fertilizers and pesticides are extremely unhealthy to consume, and as long as our reliance on cheap corn and soy continues, so will the fertilizers used that contribute to runoff.
In the home
Stop using fertilizer on your property. With the right conditions and know-how, fertilizer alternatives such as manure’s, worm castings, and composted organic waste can feed your garden right. These materials are also significantly cheaper than their synthetic alternatives.
What’s the primary cause behind air pollution?
Most people think with a booming global population and more cars on the road than ever that our transportation would be the reason behind the majority of smog in the world. However the WorldWatch institute has estimated that the emissions from animal agriculture could reach as much as 51% of all air pollution!
In the USA, animal agriculture is responsible for the vast majority of ammonia pollution, with rural and disadvantaged communities feeling the brunt of the runoff. While cleaner natural gas options have reduced methane emissions from USA industries, the quantity emitted from animal agriculture has continued to increase. Methane can trap up to 100 times more heat than carbon dioxide over a five year period!
Eat more plants! It sounds cliché, but as long as we are reliant on our transportation, the quickest impact you can make is in the grocery line. The vast majority of our severe atmospheric and waterborne poisons occur due to animal agriculture, while unclean spraying of animal waste has contributed to major bacterial outbreaks through our vegetables.
Oceanic pollution has become notorious in recent years, with the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” taking the cake. With so many bags, bottles, and poor recycling practices the oceans are fraught with unwelcome debris.
Daily consumer plastics! Dispose of the disposable and save money while doing it. Plastic straws, bottles, and bags are the culprit for the majority of this devastation. These items not only degrade our oceans and cost us money, they are responsible for ensnaring and killing many marine animals.
Replace your single use straws, bags, and bottles with reusable items that are more convenient and help you save over time. Every person who removes those three single use items from their lives is making a profound impact for our planet with nearly no effort!
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