When we talk about eco-friendly initiatives there are a lot of things that fall into that giant, nebulous bucket. We can look at how the individual can take steps to reduce, reuse and recycle, making a small change that adds up to the changes of others to become something bigger. We can look at how small, medium and large businesses can effect change in their communities and throughout the world. But let’s pause now to consider green on a national level. Following are five of the main areas where each country should be focusing their eco-initiatives to help create a healthier, more sustainable world.
Saving our Forests Deforestation is a problem in both developing and developed countries around the world. Deforestation is the result of a variety of factors; sometimes forests are cut down so that the land can be used for something else, and other times forests are cut down so that the wood can be used as a resource. Whatever the reason, deforestation is occurring around the world at an alarming rate. The results of this loss of forest are many and varied. Trees and other forest vegetation prevent erosion, create habitats for other living creatures, scrub toxins from our air, and create the oxygen that we mammals need to breathe. Without sufficient trees our land and air will become increasingly toxic. It is imperative that we work on an individual, national and global level to stop damaging deforestation.
Protecting Our Resources Across the world today we need to look at protecting our natural resources. This is an extremely detailed and complicated discussion. It includes not overusing non-renewable resources such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. It also means protecting our vegetation, our atmosphere, and wildlife. By abusing and overusing water, fossil fuels and such we cause untold damage to our environment and leave future generations to fend for themselves to find ways to live without these resources or with the damage caused by our gluttony.
Looking at Economics Saving the environment is not just about being a granola loving tree hugger; it is also about economics. We can save money by going green – numerous studies and efforts have proven this. If we reduce our consumption, we spend less on energy. If we release fewer toxins into the air and water, we spend less on clean-up. Reusing old materials is often less costly than creating new materials and then disposing of the old. The old adage seems true here that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By taking steps now to reduce our environmental footprints we help the Earth, but we also work towards creating a more sustainable economy.
Creating More Jobs Going green can create new jobs in a variety of ways. Human ingenuity can be used to find replacements for fossil fuels, which will lead to new jobs in new and exciting industries. Yes, some traditional jobs will be lost. However, as we build a stronger economy that is built upon sustainable technologies we will also create jobs that are sustainable for future generations, based on modern technology and today’s eco-friendly needs.
Respect for Others Today’s nations need to have a respect for the other nations with which we share our world. It is important that we not take advantage of resources inherent to one nation, or dump our trash into the willing arms of a government in another nation. To be truly eco-friendly we must care for the land of our brothers and sisters as well as our own; in today’s global world, what goes around comes around. We simply cannot pollute one nation without negatively impacting our own.
A National Attitude In order to move forward into a world of true global responsibility, each country must develop a new and shared national attitude. This attitude needs to be one of respect – for each other and for the environment. We need to learn to take only what we need, to find healthier ways to satisfy these needs, and to consider the global needs of our mother Earth above our own individual wants.