Remember when you were a kid – definitely still in the awkward years, but old enough not to need a babysitter – and your parents left you all alone with the whole house to yourself for the first time? You promised you wouldn’t make a mess (and maybe you really did mean it!), but one way or another your parents came home to find maple syrup on the ceiling and your little brother covered with lipstick … not that we’re speaking from experience … Bottom line is, you were given some measure of responsibility and chose to have a wild time instead, it’s what any little kid would do, really.
Well, this crazy kids-gone-wild scenario is a little bit like what we are currently doing to the planet. Except, instead of getting grounded and spending the next three days cleaning goo off the cabinets, we’re stuck trying to figure out how we can salvage the planet for our future use. Between rampant deforestation to make room for grazing cattle and palm oil plantations, to dumping trillions of pieces of plastic into the world’s oceans so we can have a quick, on the go beverage – we’ve made quite a mess of our terrestrial home.
If only Mother Nature were like our real-life moms, we would have learned our lesson and promised not to make a mess again. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way and we just keep making the mess worse … to be honest, we’re not sure whether we should laugh or cry looking at these stats, but one thing is for sure … we should all definitely lose our TV privileges.
1. There are 270,000 TONS of plastic floating in the world’s oceans.
2. There is more carbon in our atmosphere now than there has been for the past 800,000 years.
3. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent.
4. Around 80 percent of all fish stocks are fully-to-over exploited and 90 percent of predatory fish have disappeared from the ocean.
5. We have lost 52 percent of wildlife in the past 40 years.
6. More than 80 percent of the world’s natural forests have been destroyed.
Clean Up Time
All right, we’ve made a mess, so now what are we going to do about it? Luckily, there are many things we can do to clean up the planet and they all start with little ol’ you! Changing your consumption habits to minimize your impact on the planet is a great way to start. Check out these articles to learn more: