Friday, 27 November 2015

Protection of Our Oceans and Coasts

Human impact has changed the our oceans and coasts negatively, yet our existence depends on the resources provided by these great bodies of water. Learning to manage the habitats and biodiveristy
within our oceans and coasts is one of the most challenging issues of the century.

Often times, measures are taken, including the establishment of Marine Protected Areas, regulating fishing or controlling industrial activity, yet more actions need to be taken to increase the resilience of our oceans and coasts to ensure they will survive in the future. We can not only look at our lifetime, but also generations after us. The resilience of a marine ecosystem is influenced by various factors, such as health and proximity of adjacent habitats, the supply of larvae and the presence of human disturbance. Overall, we must begin to consider the biological and environmental influences beyond the extent of its distribution.

New research examines seagrass, which is present in many oceans and large bodies of water. The meadows they form are considered to be "Prairies of the Sea" and are highly productive shallow water habitats comprised of marine plants. They are essential for food and shelter within bodies of water and are important for storing carbon, pumping oxygen into the air and protecting from erosion. Unfortunately, the threat of these habitats is very harmful to marine life, as they depend upon these meadows to survive.

Some measures that can be taken in response to protecting the oceans include being aware of what plastic products you use and how they are disposed, and hopefully they do not end up on our beaches or in our bodies of water, as they pose a large threat to animals. Secondly, taking part in beach clean-ups or organizations that work to protect different components of marine life. Lastly, being aware of the seafood you eat is important, as various creatures are becoming threatened by human processes. Overall, just having a basic knowledge on marine life and our water supply is essential in protecting our oceans and coasts!

The link below shows the article where I found this great new information:
Science Daily- Marine Life

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Climate Change

Antarctica has become a major part of the news today as a new study in the Journal of Glaciology revealed despite the effects of climate change, the continent is actually gaining ice. WHAT?! Yes, the study claims the increase in snow accumulation that began thousands of years ago on Antarctica is actually adding enough ice today in order to compensate for its thinning glaciers. 
Although this information seems very positive, it only really applies to the central and eastern parts of the continent. Meanwhile, the massive West Antarctica sheet, due to global warming, is looking as though it will eventually collapse. Subsequently, sea levels could raise up to nine feet, essentially flooding coastal cities. This worries me greatly, as the lives of millions of people will be at risk in future generations, as a result of our climate that we have helped to create today. It is very upsetting.

Furthermore, it is clear that further greenhouse gas emissions will increase the risk of the ice collapse in Antarctica and heighten the risk of a significant rise in sea level. Not only should we be considering how this may effects humans living in cities along the ocean, but also the animals presently on the Western Antarctica sheet of ice. It seems as though animals continue to be disregarded and pushed aside by the public. They are essential components of our ecosystem, as they keep the food chain and balance of the environment in tact.

So, how can we fix this? Well, it is going to take a lot of commitment and determination but it is possible. I feel as though this is why we accomplish very little in terms of environmental issues, because people do not wish to exert so much energy or simply feel as though it is too hard to change. But, by further reducing our carbon emissions and worrying more about what we put into our atmosphere, we may see changes. These changes will not necessarily by visible, but our future generations will thank us if we begin to change now! 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Positive Actions Regarding our Environment

When we discuss our environment, we are often very critical and negative, but I love to look at the positive results coming from an increased knowledge that we have today regarding our ecosystem!

Some very positive actions being taken regarding the environment, include:

1. Switzerland is moving toward banning plastic bags: In the month of December, the Swiss Parliament voted to ban single-use plastic bags, now the next step is to implement the ban. These bags are used typically for less than an hour, but take hundreds of years to disappear. Further, petroleum, a nonrenewable energy source, is used to make plastic bags, reducing the amount we have to be a source of energy. Lastly, plastic bags greatly harm wildlife, as many animals mistake them for food and therefore die of starvation. The kill over 100,000 animals per year. Overall, Switzerland's movement is a great step in the right direction! I hope other countries begin to follow suit.

2. Schools in Colorado are installing solar panels: Fourteen Colorado schools recently installed over 5,000 solar panels on their roofs. It is estimated that the project will help eliminate over 110 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalently to 300 cars off the road each year. Not only is this movement towards solar energy very cost effective and great for the environment, but also educational for the students. This amazes me and makes me wish my school could afford such a project..

3. England plans to preserve forests through a Public Trust: England plans to sell 15% of its publicly-held forests. Instead, they will protect these forests for future generations with a trust.

4. Asia Pulp and Paper Company is no longer clearing forests: Asia Pulp and Paper Company, which produces over 18 million tons of paper annually, has announced they are halting all of their suppliers from clearing forests. Instead, the company agrees to only sell products harvested from farm trees only. This will help to protect various habitats, which are important components of our ecosystem.

5. Electricity will be saved on the Super Bowl: With the Super Bowl being the most widely watched television broadcast in history, they actually have inquired ways to save energy during the game. By promoting people to watch the game with a large group of friends, less appliances are used and therefore energy is saved. Also, the National Football League has partnered up with various organizations, like Second Harvest Food Bank and Local Utility Energy Corporation, which have help the Super Bowl reduce their energy costs.

The link to the article and websites where I gathered this awesome information is as follows:

Effects of Pollution

Seeing these images, which are due to pollution and improper disposal of waste products, upsets me so much! Why is this happening and why can't we all realize that this is a major issue that is harming our environment, including animals and people.. So upsetting.

Consume With Care

Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume With Care.
This video highlights the significance in protecting out planet, which we quite frankly only have one of. All individuals have aspirations and dreams, but why can we not center these goals around the environment, as well? Why do we have little concern for our provider, our caretaker and our "Mother Nature?" If each person had just an ounce of respect and concern for the planet, we may observe slight changes in our atmosphere, climate and overall health. 

In order to consume with care, as the video highlights, we can begin with the three R's. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. As you may have learned in elementary school, these three actions are a step in the right direction for caring for our environment. First, reduce refers to diminishing the amount of waste we produce. A great way to begin this step is borrowing belongings from others, carpooling, making a compost pile or simply turning the lights off when you leave a room. Easy enough...right? Secondly, reusing can be performed by using your own reusable grocery bags, plastic containers for lunches and using silverware instead of plastic utensils. Lastly, recycling includes items such as, paper, plastic bottles and milk cartons. Recycling allows us to create new products from the materials of old ones. I personally have been conditioned by my parents to recycle from an early age, and now it has become a habit for me. It really is a simple task and quite rewarding when you think about it!

I hope you enjoy the video and I will be uploading more on other posts!

New Study on Work Environment

I am pleased to share with all of you recent research on the environment relation to the workplace. I found this article very interesting, and I hope you can say the same!

According to a new study performed by a collaboration of universities, individuals who work in well-ventilated offices with few indoor pollutants and carbon dioxide have very high cognitive functioning scores, compared to others who do not have such healthy work environments. Researchers were very interesting in looking at the impact of ventilation, chemicals and carbon dioxide on worker's cognitive function in the workplace. As building continue to increase in energy efficiency, they also become more airtight, which increases the potential for poor indoor environment quality.

This study interested me as it proves to have a major significance in discovering our environment during cognitive tasks effects our ability to make decision, problem solve and strategize. I am aware that various companies and organizations are making steps to "Go Green," through recycling, energy efficient sources and proper disposal of waste. I hope they can further their environmental protection techniques by making sure their indoor work environments are healthy and safe. In turn, they may observe great results from their employees!

The picture displays an ecological office building, which has helped in making the work environment for its employees a much cleaner and effective area. I have attached the link to the article, if you would like to check out the entire story!  

Monday, 2 November 2015

About Me

My name is Kalie. I have a great love for nature and what it encompasses, which is why I am encouraging you to take a stand on environmental protection. Through reading my blog, I hope to strengthen your love for nature and your desire to make a change regarding our ecosystem. In recent decades, various environmental issues have developed and increased as the result of human activities and technological development. Due to this situation, I strongly advocate for the protection of key elements of our environment, as they are essential and important for human health. The ability to breathe clean air, to have a wholesome supply of drinking water and to be protected against the effects of harmful substances and activities produced by the actions factories and individuals, are vital to a healthy life. Environmental protection is a major concern of mine, as I believe it is essential to protect, strengthen and uphold our current ecosystem. As you should too!