The natural surroundings in which we live is our environment which has both biotic and abiotic components and together they support a proper balance in the environment. The environment is a powerhouse of natural resources like air, water, oil, sunlight, forests and minerals to name a few but unfortunately human greed and misuse of these resources is upsetting the balance of our environment. This environmental awareness essay aims to define our environment, its importance, benefits and what we can do to restore this balance. The indiscriminate use of natural resources and environmental pollution by humans is damaging nature at an alarming rate and has put the very survival of living beings at risk.
The adage — ‘There’s enough for man’s need but not his greed,’ could not be more true at this crucial juncture that we find ourselves in.The human race has been extremely irresponsible in its indiscriminate use of natural resources without any thought of the future generations. We don’t define our environment, our environment defines us and if we do not start respecting and protecting our environment, there may be no human race left to define.
What is Environment and its Importance
The true worth of the environment is beyond comprehension but some of its importance can be estimated. The fact that there are living beings on Earth and they are able to flourish is thanks to the environment. The trees in the forests filter the air and absorb all the harmful gases. Plants reduce the chances of flooding and purify water.
The delicate ecological balance and its functioning is maintained by the environment and it provides food, water, shelter and air for living beings and takes care of every big and small human need.
It helps in the maintenance and regulation of various life cycles on earth and its natural beauty does wonders for our physical and mental health.
Causes of Environmental Degradation
The irresponsible activities of human beings is the biggest cause of environmental degradation due to pollution, greenhouse gases, chemicals, defective environmental policies, ozone depletion, global warming etc.
- Air pollution is one of the biggest contributors to environmental degradation and is mainly caused by emission from industries, burning of fossil fuel and greenhouse gas effects. Air, which is a basic necessity to survive, is getting so polluted that humans may find it difficult to breathe.
- Water pollution also affects the environment adversely. Humans are indiscriminately disposing huge amounts of waste, chemicals and pesticides into water bodies and oil spills further aggravate the matter.
- Land pollution is caused mainly because of agricultural activities as the excessive use of pesticides and fertilisers degrades the quality of soil and it loses its fertility.
- Sound pollution is caused by factories, vehicles, loud parties and damages the health of humans and animals.
- Deforestation is another major cause of environmental degradation. Our survival depends on trees and deforestation is a hindrance in the natural balance of the environment.
- The overuse of natural resources by humans is a matter of alarm and is fast creating a situation where there will be no resources left to use in the future.
- Increased human activity has put immense pressure on the earth and has significantly caused natural disasters to rise. Forest fires, floods, earthquakes, landslides are all on the rise.
How to Help the Environment
As an intelligent species it is our moral responsibility to do our bit to protect the environment from degradation and keep it safe for the future generations so that their survival does not become a question mark.
- Sustainable living is the very first step we need to adopt by only using what we need rather than exploiting the environment. We have to start reducing the use of natural resources, especially non-renewable ones.
- Planting as many trees as you can is another affirmative step. Governments need to make reforestation and afforestation a priority. Trees are cut for numerous requirements and the use of paper is one of the major contributors to this. The more paper we use, the more trees will be cut so we need to drastically reduce the use of paper. The use of wood needs to be minimised to stop deforestation.
- Pollution levels can be minimised by controlling emissions of hazardous fumes and toxic chemicals from factories and industries into air and water.
- Carpooling and using public transport will reduce carbon emissions and air pollution.
- We should adopt the 3 Rs of Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce to minimise waste.
- Energy consumption should be controlled as most energy is from non-renewable resources. Switch off all electronics equipment when not in use, buy eco-friendly products and switch to LED bulbs. We should switch to renewable energy sources like solar panels.
- Be judicious in the use of water so that there is sufficient water for the future generations too.
- Plastic pollution is another danger to the environment. The use of single-use plastic should be banned and the use of the other plastic should be gradually stopped. Use jute or cloth bags instead of plastic bags.
- The use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers for agriculture causes water and land pollution and should be replaced by more eco-friendly or organic options.
- Waste management and its proper disposal will play a significant role in the conservation of the environment.
- There should be strict implementation of government rules and severe punishments for environmental degradation.
The exploitation of natural resources is the first step towards environmental degradation and that’s why it’s so important to put a stop to these activities. The environment needs time to heal from the trauma we have caused it. This process is going to be painstaking but we need to put in continuous and consistent efforts to work towards it. The survival of life on Earth depends on these efforts and we need to do this not just for ourselves but for the future generations. We live in a beautiful and bountiful environment and it is a pity that our reckless behaviour has ravaged it. This environmental awareness essay is an attempt to give you some insight into the problem and suggestions on what you can do to mitigate it. For more information on the environment and its degradation, you can touch base with the EuroKids website and do your bit towards the environment.