Environmental protection really is down to everybody. Oh, I know, we’ve all heard about “saving the planet” and “going green” but what does it really mean? Can we really make such a difference?
The answer is a quite definite yes. We are all responsible for the protection of our environment, governments need to (and largely are) taking the initiative and have been, to some extent since the 1960’s when it began to dawn on some scientists and campaigners just how much irreparable damage we were inflicting onto the earth. Pressures of developing technology and the increase in population size have all been to the detriment of the planet. Just think about how much has changed over a very short period of time, in the last 100 years for example (which is pretty much a nanosecond in terms of the life of the earth). How many of us drive automobiles these days? Whereas the motorcar was just really being developed and more of a novelty than a necessity 100 years ago, many homes in the United States now have 2 or even 3 cars, all of which are being used daily. It seems that the human race cannot survive without being plugged in . . . could any of us actually cook a meal, make a hot drink or last the evening without electricity. Could we wash our clothes, clean our houses – nope, we’re all too busy with our “leisure time” and expect for those household chores to take up as little amount of time as possible.
Governments Role in Environmental Protection
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working since 1970 to protect the environment, as well as the health of its citizens. Each US State has their own individual department to deal with environmental protection. The seven main priorities of the EPA are:
- To take action on climate change
- To improve the quality of the air
- To assure the safety of chemicals used
- To clean up the communities
- To protect the waters of America
- To expand the conservation of environmentalism and to work towards environmental justice
- To build strong partnerships
So, that’s the government doing their bit then, but what can we do?
Individuals Role in Environmental Protection
There are plenty of ways in which each and every individual can join in to help protect the environment, making the world a safer place for generations to come. Many of these methods are extremely simple and really only need a little forethought and change of habits:
- Recycle – more than 18.5 million tons of waste are produced in America each year and dumped into land-fill sites, it’s only a matter of time before the world is full up of rubbish. Much of this waste can be avoided if citizens simply join re-cycling programs. Just get into the habit of separating your waste and putting the right trash into the right bin. You can sometimes get a little cash back for recycling aluminium cans, how neat is that? Why not look out for recycled goods when you are out shopping too. You can buy re-cycled paper, household products and detergents supplied in bottles manufactured from recycled plastics. If everyone took these very small steps just think what a difference we could all help to make.
- Switch off – how many times do you go out and leave the lights on, leave the television on stand-by or use a half full washing machine without remembering to set it to the appropriate program? How many items are actually plugged into the mains electricity and not actually being used?
- Car share – how many people drive to your place of work individually, often passing right through the same part of town and all arriving in the car park at the same time. How about car sharing? Not only can you reduce the emissions and save money on gas, you also have someone to talk to on the way to work.
I think you’ll agree that there are loads of individual ways in which we can all help to make a difference to protect our environment. Every little helps and if we all took just one small step, what a giant leap that would be for mankind (where have I heard that before I wonder?).