All About the Green #2 Environmental Protection Club

Environmental problems

  • Pollution - the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that causes adverse changes. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants.
  • Global Warming - Over the past century the planet has warmed up significantly and global warming has a far-reaching impact on biodiversity and climatic conditions of the planet.

Major Pollution Problems

Air pollution

the release of chemicals into the atmosphere. The most common air pollutants are carbon monoxide and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are released by industries and vehicles.

Water pollution

some industries directly release untreated wastewater into the river or discharge untreated sewage. After drinking water contaminated by chemicals, our nervous system will be damaged and can even cause cancer.

Light pollution

It is usually a side effect of urbanisation. The excessive and obtrusive artificial light may look beautiful, but it can harm our eyes and our mental health. It harms the quality of sleeping, which will lead to the reduction in productivity. People with a poor quality of sleep always feel annoyed and fail to focus on work.

In Hong Kong, light pollution is extremely serious as commercial buildings choose to switch on lights overnight to attract tourists.

Noise pollution

It refers to the high frequency of noise usually released by vehicles. It is a result of poor urban planning. For example, there is a residential area near London Heathrow Airport. Hundreds of plane will pass by this residential area before landing, causing tremendous disturbance to the residents near by. High noise level can contribute to cardiovascular effects on humans and cause hypertension and high-stress level. It can even lead to loss of hearing.

The noise level in Hong Kong is particularly high in urban districts such as Mong Kok even at night. Education and legislation are believed to be the best way to mitigate the problem of pollution.

Global Warming

Countries all around the globe are feeling the effects of current global warming trends. It is not a problem that can be blamed on one person or nation, but instead a crisis that everyone should take a moment to reflect on. Several current trends clearly demonstrate that global warming is directly impacting on rising sea levels, the melting of ice caps and significant worldwide climate changes. And the effects of global warming are tremendous, and if people do not begin to do something about it. In short, global warming will be representing a fundamental threat to all living things on earth.

The prevailing scientific view is that most of the temperature increases since the mid-20th century has been caused by increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations produced by human activity. Most scientists agree that planet’s temperature has risen 0.5 degree Celsius since 1900 and will continue to increase at an increasing rate. As a result, the world is getting warmer. The year 1990 was the hottest year in the last century. Together with 1991, the years of 1983, 1987, 1988 and 1989 have been measured to be the warmest six years in the last hundred years. The consequences of the rise in temperature are being felt all over the globe that the temperature of the earth is likely to rise from 1.4°C to 5.8°C within a period of 100 years.

After knowing all these, why don’t we take the initiative and do something to solve the problem? There are several things we can do to solve the problem of global warming. One solution is to stop producing C02. We can do this by switching from oil, coal and gas to renewable energy. Another solution is to plant more trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, which is not a greenhouse gas. A third solution is to use less energy and to recycle more products. Generating electricity is one of the main sources of carbon dioxide. If we use less electricity, we will produce less C02.

In conclusion, if we make small changes now in the way we live, we can avoid huge changes in the future. Scientists, governments and individuals must work together to overcome this threat and wish for a better future.

Organizations

There are many environmental protection organizations established to help save our environment. They hold a different kind of activities and focus on various areas of the environment, but they all aim to promote a green lifestyle among the public. Here we will introduce you four dynamic and notable environmental organizations currently working for a green cause.

1. Heal the bay

Although this organization is regional (California-based), it has become the representative of ocean conservation and marine sustainability. This research-and-advocacy organization put their words into actions, such as Campaigning for tough legislation that keeps harmful plastic out of the Pacific and Monitoring water quality at 450 California beaches each week. In fact, they have achieved a lot on thriving oceans and maintaining healthy watersheds, which are two of their main focus.

2. Forest Stewardship Council

Certification from the FSC is essential for a green retailer to have genuine “eco cred”. This non-governmental non-profit was established to protect forests. Located in 46 countries, the FSC helps companies, governments and communities with proper forest management and accreditation. Though there are many certifications in the green world, the FSC is the only one that prohibits conversion of natural forests or another habitat around the world.

3. The Nature Conservancy

Since its inception in 1951, the Nature Conservancy has dedicated itself to saving lands and waters. With over 117 million acres sustained, 5,000 miles of rivers kept clean, and hundreds of marine conservation projects, the Nature Conservancy is one of the most successful and effective green organizations in existence. The science-based approach (with 700 scientists on staff) is used in all conservation efforts around the world.

What can WE do?

It is easy to throw our hands up and assume that we cannot do anything to change. But while the most drastic change will need to take place on a government or corporation scale, there are a number of ways that an average individual can make their daily life more eco-friendly. In fact, a healthier lifestyle goes hand in hand with the eco-friendly lifestyle. Read on to find out incredible ways to conserve our mother earth.

1. use energy efficient light bulbs.

- a simple way to reduce the amount of power use

- produce a similar amount of light to incandescent bulbs while using less energy

-cheaper to use, lessens your electricity bills, reduce carbon footprint

- can pay for themselves through energy savings over a greatly increased lifespan

- a typical incandescent bulb may last 1,000 to 2,000 hours before burning out. Compact fluorescent light bulbs have a lifespan approaching 10,000 hours, while LED bulbs could potentially last 25,000 to 50,000 hours or more before failing.

2. use all of the paper

- paper production accounts for 35% of the felled trees

- using less paper can save you money

-the indirect savings can be 10 times the cost of the paper itself. These include reducing the cost of storage space and filling equipment. Paper is a valuable resource and using it wisely will definitely make you feel better than wasting it.

3. personalise wrapping paper

- gift wrap is a major waste of paper and resource as they are designated to be used once only and it is very difficult to recycle wrapping papers

- often dyed and laminated, it can contain non-paper elements such as gold and silver colorings or glitters

- by reusing wrapping papers, we can save up to 10000 trees

- be creative and make your own gift wraps from old newspapers, maps or magazines and create your own design!

4. have a vegetarian day

- try to commit to a one day meat-free meal

- reduce the amount of meat you intake

- the carbon footprint is reduced as it takes 2500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef and each hamburger that comes from the animals on the ex-forestry ground is responsible for the destruction of 55 square feet forest.

- the raising of cattles, pigs and chicken emits as much greenhouse gases as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined

- diet heavy in meat increases the risk of cancer, obesity or even heart diseases

5. share the knowledge

- people damage the world because they have not considered the course of action

- share the above tips to your peers or family members. If each of them takes on board just one point, the effect could be immense

- The chain reaction can lead to a great positive impact on the environment

Let’s work together in order to make the world a better place.

Credits:

Created with images by gambier20 - "Rainbow pollution" • PublicDomainPictures - "drought cracked earth dry earth" • Ben_Kerckx - "waste garbage garbage bag" • 大杨 - "air pollution, beijing" • TheUjulala - "bike river absorbed" • indi.ca - "Crows Island Pollution" • Dun.can - "More London light pollution" • dimitrisvetsikas1969 - "heavy machines digger truck" • Didgeman - "beer can garbage pollution" • indi.ca - "Waste Runoff In Dehiwela" • suyashdixit - "singapore aquarium jellyfish" • micronova - "Forest Of Dean" • tpsdave - "glen canyon utah landscape" • MichaelGaida - "garbage debris waste" • webandi - "light bulb light glow" • jill111 - "vegetables garden harvest" • gambier20 - "Rainbow pollution" • Ben_Kerckx - "waste garbage garbage bag" • indi.ca - "Crows Island Pollution" • Didgeman - "beer can garbage pollution" • MichaelGaida - "garbage debris waste" • indi.ca - "Waste Runoff In Dehiwela" • Ben_Kerckx - "petrochemistry industry flame"

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