Typically when you think of Thanksgiving you think of a plentiful bounty with more than enough to go around however, that isn’t the case for a lot of people in the world. So I wanted to give you a list of 5 environmental issues that are plaguing the world right now and why I’m thankful for the changes I’m making to my life.
These are not in order of importance because I feel that all environmental issue deserve our understanding and support.
- Plastic Bags: Nothing is ever really free (in the case of material things) and the cost of this one seemingly harmless item is higher than most people realize. Animals both land and more specifically marine animals treat these bags as food and most pay with their lives. Sea Turtles mistake the plastic bags as jellyfish and suffer needlessly until their inevitable death. You can read more about the issue here.
- Continuing Deforestation of the Amazon and Forests: There is a great article that was done out of the University of Michigan that describes why this is an issue that we should all be concerned with here. The obvious reason for the need for trees is to help cleanse the Earth. Trees have the ability to pull toxins out of the air and release the essential oxygen that we all need to survive. They are also home to hundreds of species of animals that are slowly vanishing from our world in our lifetime. You would think that our biggest culprit is the paper industry but in reality it is cattle farming. The Amazon has given way to it’s most significant amount of deforestation to make way for cattle farms because Brazil is the leading exporter of beef.
- Toxins in the essential products we use everyday. We are finding more and more that products made in the name of convenience and economically were done so with out proper testing. So now we are left with plastics that can cause cancers and pans that maybe easier to clean but can make us sick.
- Global Warming: National Geographic has a great fast fact article if you are interested. I don’t know if this issue is what we need to spend a lot of time with since the media has either blow it up or discounted it all together. Whatever you believe I think the fact that the weather is changing can not be argued but the cause of it may still be up for debate.
- Clean drinking water for all people. Thirst Relief International states that 1.1 billion people in the world lack access to clean drinking water. This figure to me is unbelievable because to me this is a basic necessity and is something that people should not have to worry about but because of contamination of ground water supplies and waterways this basic need is not available to people throughout the world. This can become an issue even in industrialized countries if contaminates leak into the ground water and it is not tested frequently.
I know when I sit down to my dinner and look at the bounty in front of me and my family I will be thankful that the changes that we are making and continue to make will be moving us in the direction of a more environmental conscious family. I know that we are only one family and that overall what we do makes very little impact in the larger scope of things but if thousands of families start to make similar changes to the way they live we may start to get somewhere.
I think that Margaret Mead’s quote says it best:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”