Practicing sustainability and knowing strategies for environmental conservation are vital to keeping the Earth habitable.
While it was integral in many cultures through time, sustainability only became popular recently in the United States.
It all sounds a bit grim. The damage done to the planet can not be undone, but environmental conservation can help restore our natural surroundings.
So what is environmental conservation? If you are coming in fresh to the world of sustainability, or want to learn new strategies for environmental protection, this guide is for you.
What is Environmental Conservation?
It’s a lot of things, all tied to the fact that humanity, and all life on earth, can not survive if we keep abusing our planet. Earth simply won’t be habitable in the next few centuries if we keep repeating history’s mistakes.
Environmental conservation takes many forms.
It starts at home, making changes to your daily life and choices that reduce your impact on the environment. Most of these changes are small, but over time add up to a significant reduction. It can be as simple as using less water, or as dedicated as avoiding industrially-farmed methane-releasing beef.
Sustainability can be practiced in a business setting by going green and taking a measured approach to eliminating your carbon footprint. New Belgium Brewing and Patagonia are 100% sustainable – their business has a near-0 measurable impact on the environment.
Politically, environmental conservation is a mainstream topic across the world. Some countries have vowed to completely switch over to renewable sources of energy, while others fund alternative and energy-efficient transportation projects.
Much of the political action is normal people making their voices heard — that’s personal action leading to societal change.
When nature is abused, it will eventually recovers — even if takes millennia. But what are we to do without a planet that can produce resources for us? Ultimately, humanity will not last without a habitable world, as it heals itself over the ages.
Why is it Important to Conserve the Environment?
Carbon emissions, plastic pollution, and melting ice caps are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to problems caused by human activity. We are also living through the sixth major extinction event in the history of the Earth — the Holocene Extinction — brought on by human activity.
For reference, the Cretaceous Extinction event which wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago was the fifth.
The Earth cannot survive the onslaught of pollution it faces, nor can it survive through other human-caused problems.
In addition to the disastrous consequences should humanity choose not to be more sustainable, it’s important to conserve the environment for health.
Practicing environmental conservation keeps water clean, cities clear of smog, and delicate ecosystems safe. Many of the world’s most effective medicines come from places of concentrated biodiversity. The fragile Amazon Rainforest, for example, is home to a willow tree species that yields aspirin.
Ultimately, by reducing or eliminating our impact on the environment, we can keep it thriving for future generations.
How Can I Help Conserve the Environment?
Practicing environmental conservation means taking actions on a personal or societal level to preserve the environment and ensure a future for humanity.
Changing your personal lifestyle is the first step to making an impact (or rather, reducing your impact) on the natural world.
You’ve heard some of these basic tips before, but to repeat: don’t use more energy than you need, reuse as much as you can, and choose sustainable products. They’re simple things, but continued changes will have a much larger impact on the environment.
You can also take some time to volunteer for a cause. There are plenty of small-scale projects you can partake in to better the world. It allows you to directly impact your local environment, discover more unique ways to help monitor sustainability, and influence locals to take action too.
Check social media like Facebook and Twitter to find local events and causes, or in major cities, you can simply check the news and find out where protests are being covered.
If you would rather turn conservation into a career, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of. National organizations like the Humane Society and international organizations like the World Wide Fund for Nature are always looking for excited new members to carry out the effort in a professional capacity.
If you run a business, spend some time going over your practices and methods and see if there are any alternatives that will reduce your impact. One simple example is switching to energy-efficient bulbs. On the other end, larger and more impactful changes include switching over a fleet of vehicles to electric vehicles.
Check with your local government to see if there are any subsidies you can use when making these changes. In many cases, the costs are completely covered.
Environmental Conservation is Vital
Now that you know some answers to “what is environmental conservation” perhaps you also now understand its importance in the future of humanity and the planet at large.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to do as much as you can to protect your planet. Whether that’s daily small changes to your personal life or taking part in some of the world’s climate protests and activism, making an effort to live sustainably will help to ensure the prosperity of Earth.
For more on the world of conservation, sustainability, and the planet, check out more of our content at Earth&World.