Protecting Mother Earth

Protecting Mother Earth

June 12, 2020

By James Alexander Butter

Our mother earth suffers when it is polluted with harmful gases, dust, smoke, and when waste enters into the atmosphere and makes it difficult for plants, animals, and humans to survive as the air, land and water become dirty. The waste emitted from vehicles, manufacturing, industrial, petroleum refineries and mining activities, and pesticides for agriculture are the main sources contributing to the problem. Closer to home, our household products such as those used in paints, cleaners, personal care products, packaging, and consumer waste contribute to volatile organic air pollution as well.

As these activities come to almost a full halt due to the global lockdown, it may be a blessing in disguise for our mother earth as it gives it a chance to heal from pollution. We have to be more mindful when the lockdown is eased and eventually lifted completely.

Mr James shares a few ways through which we can make our children aware of the danger of not reducing pollution and even with their little efforts may contribute to reducing it:


1. Reduce/Re-use/Recycle

Plastic waste is a massive problem for the planet. There is an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic in our planet’s oceans. This causes problems for the wildlife in and around the ocean as well as for us. To try and reduce this, there are several things we can do.

  • Reduce: using less plastic, especially single-use plastic is very effective. This can be as simple as refusing plastic bags in the supermarket or by using your own water bottle instead of buying bottled water.
  • Re-use: making use out of plastic you already have can be a fun way to help the planet. Use plastic tubs in arts and crafts a well as for storage can ensure that plastic does not end up In the trash.
  • Recycle: make sure that items that can be recycled, such as glass, plastic and paper don’t end up in the trash means that less of these items end up in the ocean. Most housing communities have recyclable collection, but if not, you can find recycling points at different locations.


2. Turn Off The Lights!

Production of energy is a major contributor to climate change. To produce electricity, a lot of fossil fuels like coal and oil are burned. Burning these fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide into the air, a greenhouse gas that is really bad for the planet. Doing little things such as turning lights off when you are not in the room and only having air-con on for a small period of time, can make a difference to the amount of energy you use. It will also mean that your electricity bill will become cheaper. Double Win!


3. Eat Less Meat

The livestock sector requires a significant amount of natural resources and has an important role in global greenhouse gas emissions. The most important greenhouse gases from animal agriculture are methane and nitrous oxide.

Breeding them requires large areas of land which need to be cleared which reduce the land available for rain forests, the lungs of the planet absorbing carbon dioxide, which deplete the oxygen production. By reducing the intake, even having two days a week that are meat-free, you can make a small contribution to the fight against climate change.


4. Buy Local Products/Ingredients

By buying local produce you reduce the number of miles your food has travelled. If you buy food that is imported then it must travel by airplane, ship or truck to get to your plate. More fossil fuels are burned this way and very harmful to the planet. Buying local also supports local businesses such as farms and shops.


5. Choose Green Products

A green product is a sustainable product designed to minimize its environmental impacts during its whole life-cycle and even after it’s of no use. They are manufactured using toxic-free ingredients and environmentally-friendly procedures and are certified by recognized organizations like Energy star, Forest Stewardship Council, etc.

Some of the characteristics of a green product are:

  • Grown without the use of toxic chemicals and within hygienic conditions
  • Can be recycled, reused and is biodegradable in nature
  • Comes with eco-friendly packing
  • Uses the least resources
  • Is eco-efficient
  • Has reduced or zero carbon footprint
  • Has reduced or zero plastic footprint

You don’t have to do all of these things to help the planet, however, you should try to do what YOU can in order to make changes to human behaviour. Scientists all over the world agree that if we don’t make changes to our habits, we will have destroyed the world by the year 2100 or maybe even sooner. Scientists also agree that if we act now that we can change the world for the better. What kind of world do you want your grandchildren to grow up in? What side of history do you want to be on? Act now!

Mr James holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Environmental Science and Professional Education from the University of Stirling. He has been teaching for 4 years and has been with Matrix International Secondary School for almost a year.