Edit Article | Posted: Apr 17, 2008
With Earth Day nearly upon us, and all of the talk about the damage that humans are doing to the environment, maybe you feel as though you aren’t doing your part. Fear not, I’ve compiled a list of some very easy things that you can do to have the greatest impact on the environment in the shortest amount of time. So, without further adeiu, here they are:
I mean non-organic strawberries here. Strawberry production, as well as some grape, tomato, and other fruit production still uses Methyl Bromide as a pesticide and fungicide. Methyl Bromide (MB) is one of the most damaging chemicals to the ozone layer destroying ozone molecules 50 times faster than other ozone depleting compounds. While outlawed in 1987 as a part of the Montreal Protocol, a loophole called the “critical-use exemption” allows countries to continue to use the chemical if they decide that there is no suitable replacement. That exemption has prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to approve the use of 4,813.5 metric tonnes of the stuff for 2008. As an added benefit, the fruits and vegetables that are often produced using consistently rank at the top of the “most contaminated” list each year. http://www.foodnews.org/methodology.php
Drink Your Water
You should know this one already. The government suggests that you drink eight glasses of water per day, but why not drink those eight glasses out of a convenient plastic bottle? Everyone else is! Each hour, 2.5 million individual water bottles are thrown away in the United States alone. By using a plastic bottle, you get the added benefit of potentially consuming a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA) that comes from plastic which mimics natural estrogen. Too much estrogen can result in certain kinds of cancer as well as hampering fertility in some people.
Fill’er up With Biofuel
Two recent studies published in the journal Science provide an economist’s view of the biofuel industry. Because biofuels are currently the subject of much venture speculation as well as government promotion, more and more farmers are jumping on the bandwagon. That means that the crops they used to produce that can’t be turned into fuel are being farmed elsewhere, and more often than not, environmentally valuable lands are converted to agricultural lands instead. Time Magazine recently published an article illustrating how this macroeconomic phenomenon is played out in one of the more valuable carbon stores, the Amazon rainforest. In one photo, a tiny sliver of forest is seen against a sea of newly converted agricultural land.
Eat Meat – Lots of Factory-Raised, Grain-Fed Meat
Those vegetarians have it all wrong. A great way to stick it to Mother Nature is to treat yourself to an extra helping of beef. If you, along with everyone else in America heeds the advice, it will have the same impact as putting an additional half million cars on the road. Imported meat is better because of the gas used to get it to you, but at very least, try to find some locally grown animal to eat. All the better if it was raised in a factory farm. The runoff created could have the added benefit of introducing bacteria into waterways and killing fish along the way.
Keep a Well-Fed, Well Watered Lawn
With water shortages looming all over the western US this summer, it would only be right if you had a nice looking lawn. A green lawn means using a lot of water and a lot of fertilizer. Water often, but especially during the hottest part of the day or whenever it is windy. Also, make sure to use lots of high nitrogen fertilizer to keep the lawn green. If you’re really doing it right, you’ll want to water heavily right after fertilizing heavily. Maybe the runoff created will take out any fish that are left.