June 5th, 2016 was the 44th World Environment Day, a special day enacted by the United Nations General Assembly in Sweden Stockholm in 1972.
Since the Industrial Revolution, many countries around the world have accomplished economic growth. As a result, the earth is suffering from the consequences of pollution as well as extreme weather, deforestation, and rising sea levels.
Damage to nature is also damage to mankind. For example, a chemical soil fertilizer helps to increase crop yield. However, it pollutes the soil and, when we eat crops from that soil, it pollutes the human body. Same with gas emissions from vehicles. It is one of the biggest causes of air pollution and greenhouse gases which cause global warming, as well as irrational weather like acid rain and smog.
If people continue thoughtless development and consumption for convenient life, it will threaten not only us but plants, animals, and even future generation’s life. In this sense of crisis, the idea of living environmentally-friendly is on the rise.
Due to the trend of using environmentally-friendly products, many countries are attempting to develop more efficient and sustainable sources of energy.
An Austrian town, Murek, gained nearly 20 billion dollar profits of the village by using energy independence. The oil station in Murek uses recycling cooking oil, heating companies use lumber chips, and an electric company uses animal excrement to produce electricity. These energy innovations not only added economic value but also created many jobs.
In the early 2000s, Portugal had one of the highest rates of CO2 emission in Europe. According to the data of Portuguese environmental company, Zero, Portugal has put in considerable efforts for the past few years to increase use of solar heat, water power, and wind power instead of fossil fuels and natural gases. As a result, Portugal established a new record by using only renewable energy for four days.
CEO of Solar Power Europe, James Watson, said “Energy conversion has started to receive some momentum. Records like Portugal recently made will continuously be added by the whole area of Europe.”
In interview with JSR, S. Jung, a member of environmental science club in Cresskill High School, said “I feel Earth depends on us, humans. Since the earth provided a lot of resources for us for thousands of years, it is our turn to give back.”
Conserving energy is not that hard in everyday life. People can use a shopping basket, reduce the use of water as well as air-conditioning and heating, separate the trash, and more. It is small activities like this that, if done on a grand scale, could have a massive positive impact on the future of environmental health.