I have always been an eco-friendly person because my mother taught me that the Earth would melt one day because people will abuse it. And with the COVID-19 pandemic happening, I told my wife that it is time for us to teach our kids to be eco-conscious. There is nothing else to do at home, and this could be a worthwhile lockdown project for all of us.
The Paris Agreement was the most talked-about topic at the 2019 Climate Change Event. The goals of the agreement were discussed, including the other contents which explained the causes of global warming. One of the goals of the agreement was keeping the global temperature to just below two degrees Celsius, or at a safer temperature of 1.5. This is the most ideal if you want to avoid severe and irreversible climate damage. To keep this temperature maintained, measures and strategies must be done. People have to be aware of the climate crisis to realize that it does need to be taken care of.
Warming Trend In The Climate
Estimating the global average air temperature is not easy. It needs a thorough analysis of the different measurements used worldwide, including measurements from satellites, shipped, and land stations. Even if there are several complications in structuring data, various independent groups have come up with a separate yet unanimous conclusion that the global average air temp has increased to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit in the 1900s. Although there have been erratic changes in the records, the years that followed have had warmers trends in the climate.
Back when the thermometers used were not yet very accurate, temperatures were reconstructed with the use of climate-sensitive tools or proxies. Tree rings, marine sediments, and ice cores were some of the materials used to make these proxies. Comparisons performed using these proxies showed that the 1980s and the succeeding years had been the warmest years over the last eight centuries. Global temperature, on the other hand, had risen to its peak temperatures some 10,000 years ago.
How Humans Have Changed The Climate
Careful assessment of data and other types of evidence suggest that most of the global warming effects in the past five decades were not due to natural causes but rather that humans played a crucial role in the current climate crisis. To further understand how humans have influenced the climate, scientists considered various natural factors that may have affected precipitation, temperature, or other points of the climate using timescales of days to decades and even longer. One natural factor was the El Nino Southern Oscillation or the ENSO, an erratic shift between cooling and warming in a span of seven years, located at the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It has caused tremendous shifts in rainfall patterns and temperatures.
Volcanic activities also affect climate, as it increases the number of aerosol particles within the stratosphere that absorb or reflect the sun, causing short-term superficial cooling for about three years. Thousands of years ago, continually recurring alternations in the earth around the sun had been sufficient to create ice age cycles through the last 800,000 years.
Fingerprinting is a robust method of analyzing the cause and effect of climate change. Various influences on climate lead to various patterns that have been recorded since. This becomes visible when scientists search beyond the changes in the temperature of the planet and delve deeper into temporal and geographical graphs of climate change. For instance, a heightened energy output of the sun causes different temperature changes in the Earth’s surface. Atmospheric temp patterns showed a fingerprint result that was closer to that of a longstanding CO2 increase compared to that of a wavering sun. Researchers regularly test whether natural changes occurring in the sun, climate variability, or volcanic activities can explain the changes that they have identified in the various areas of the climate system.
The Future Of Climate Change
Scientists and researchers have made tremendous success in observations, modeling, and theories regarding the climate system of the Earth, and these improvements have allowed them to forecast the future of climate change with much confidence. However, some inevitable issues still make it impossible to provide an accurate estimate of the regional or global temperature trends decades from now. First, one cannot forecast the amount of CO2 that humans emit, as this will rely on several factors like the society’s consumption and production of energy and its corresponding changes in the decades to come, and also how the global economy goes.
Second, with the latest knowledge on the complications of how climate feedbacks work, there are several possible results, even for, say, CO2 emissions. Finally, For some decades now, natural variability can inflect the outcomes of basic temperature trends. Overall, model projections stipulate that the Earth will be warmer in the coming years, decades, and even centuries. Policies must be created to include ways and means of reducing emissions and other debilitating factors that tremendously affect climate. If these policies and measures are not implemented soon, then global warming temperatures from the current 2.6 will further increase to 4.8 degrees Celsius. This is particularly very challenging for scientists and other experts.
As humans evolve, their intelligence and ability also go up a higher level. That is the reason why almost every decade and years, there are discoveries of a lot of things. “Humans are the most intelligent system we know,” says Noah Goodman, Ph.D. There is electricity, building construction, materials, and food production, medical equipment, and a lot more. Honestly, it is significantly fantastic how we managed to find the perfect ways of living conveniently. That is, regardless of whatever it takes. By “whatever it takes,” I meant the destruction and impact of human creation on the Earth.
One of the things that create a permanent impact on the planet is the creation of new materials. Take aluminum, for example. Pure elemental aluminum doesn’t come in nature because it is a human-made compound. Yes, people produce approximately 500 million of aluminum all over the world to create things useful and convenient. These include knives, forks, pans, plates, and the list goes on. Humans love producing tons of it because it is lightweight, durable, corrosion-resistant, flexible, and impermeable. But in terms of its production, it takes a lot of energy to create. So imagine how Earth would have to put up in creating millions of it in a year.
Consider adding concrete as well. Just over the past 20 years, there is about 25 billion tons of concrete that cover the planet. Throughout human history, people managed to cover enough surface of the Earth, leaving it in a state where its soil surface appears trapped in a human-made pavement. Yes, I get that. It is one of the most useful creations humans ever made because it helps out in transportation and shelter. But people do not know that cement industries are part of the contributing producers of carbon dioxide. Aside from its ability to damage the most fertile layers of the Earth, it is also a contributing source of a chemical that harms the atmosphere. This further causes air pollution.
“How can teens limit their exposure to air pollution?” says Jonas Miller, a psychologist. “They “should consider limiting their time outside during rush hour. That’s especially important “on days when air pollution is particularly strong.”
Humans create millions of plastics every day. Yes, we all know that. We love the way how it provides us convenience in almost 90% of our stuff. Perhaps that is the reason why people tend to ignore the damages it causes our environment. Seeing those birds, animals, and other marine lives ingesting plastics out of nowhere, humans are less alarmed. That is because instead of thinking about how plastics can become an issue, the goal is to live a comfortable and manageable life. Barbara Markway, Ph.D. says, “Despite the fact that scientists have tried to educate Americans about our environmental chaos for a long time, it doesn’t seem to be sinking in.”
In addition to the chemical traces we leave behind the Earth, we are also physically changing a massive amount of surface of the planet. That is due to the extensive process of farming, mining, deforestation, and modifying dams and coastlines. Humans already transformed the large portion of the Earths’ land area. Today, the planet is nowhere near its healthy and beautiful state as it was before.
All of these damaging things affect the Earth. What for? Well, it is for our convenience. We should be thankful because our Earth is sacrificing a lot for our demands. But is it that hard enough to consider the planet this time?
Perhaps you have seen some pictures of the old Earth from the internet where it looks hugely different from what it is right now. That is because, throughout thousands of years, humans have left marks on the planet. These changes are so evident that even the less knowledgeable geologist will immediately notice. And apparently, these changes are nothing but damage and destruction.
Psychologist Ginette Paris, wrote, “We are in the adolescent phase now, experiencing heartbreak with nature right now,” she said, “Where good nature and bad humans is a reversal of our old myth of God is good, while nature, women, and body are bad!”
What Are Those?
Every time a nuclear weapon gets launched, it spreads thousands of radionuclides. These are atomic radioactive isotopes contains a high amount of nuclear energy. Well, some experts would say that these atoms occur naturally, specifically in radon gas. However, most of these atomic radioactive isotopes don’t. It means that after almost seven decades of setting up nuclear bombs, the Earth receives a synthetic dusting of isotopes all over the planet, which includes Plutonium 239. It is an isotope that it emits an “alpha radiation.” Luckily, the isotopes do not penetrate the human skin. Unfortunately, when ingested or inhaled, it can irradiate the body’s internal organs.
Burning fuels like oil and coal release an emission, and it precisely does a lot of things in the environment, and people can expect that most of these results are not great. The regular habit of burning oil and fuels creates a concentrated carbon that gets trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, humans pretty much do not care because their interest is in the process’s ability to decreases certain carbon isotopes, such as carbon-13. It is useful in detecting fossilized bones, shells, and trees. So regardless of the burning practice creating damage on the Earth, the harmful effects on the planet don’t seem to matter at all as long as people find something that suits their interest.
Humans are still not aware that a lot of organisms are now having a hard time adapting to the changing environment. According to Barbara Markway, Ph.D., “Despite the fact that scientists have tried to educate Americans about our environmental chaos for a long time, it doesn’t seem to be sinking in.” The same goes for other known species as well. With that, by an estimate, the extinction process achieves a rate of a hundred times faster than the normal. Yes, imagine that one. Though compared to the Permian time of extinction, the process is a bit lower from what species experience before. It gets known as “The Great Dying” where 96% of species appear eradicated in a short span of years. But today, though there are still traces and records of fossil fuels, the bones from humans and domesticated animals appear to dominate.
Humans have significantly impacted the Earth in the most devastating way. Yes, we can all agree that the implications only want to serve the purpose of living a comfortable life. That is the goal there. However, looking back on the changes that the Earth has, we can say that we did a great job altering and creating massive damage to our only planet. Sarcastically, we have to congratulate ourselves for being so creative in making everybody’s life easy. But come to think of it. Does our planet deserve these damages?
“So, should we be hugging trees to feel better on a psychological level? Maybe in a near future, we will each be put in charge of our own totem that we will have to protect and honour in our everyday life. At the very least, we know that educating individuals from an early age to be aware of nature, by drawing upon our emotional connection to nature and our cultural platforms, has proven useful in human societies before.” – Oumar Konare, licensed psychologist.
Every year, millions of plastic garbage enter the ocean from certain lands from different places. Perhaps it is not something that concerns us because we somehow think that the vast ocean can accommodate those trashes. But what we frequently ignore is the fact that the plastic garbage we throw is going nowhere. It only flows in circulation across the ocean, while breaking itself down into the smallest pieces. From there, species across the marine life ingest it, while other remains of the trash go sinking at the bottom of the sea harming and endangering more oceanic creatures.
Oumar Konare, a psychologist, says, “Nowadays, global climate change and environment and wildlife protection have never been more talked about, with the prospect of humankind irremediably damaging our Home. At the same time, this destruction of our environment is taking its toll on us: some natural resources such as oil, soil, and fisheries are being used up, and subsequently conflicts and entrenched hunger are being exacerbated by this scarcity.”
Companies and industries can create million of plastics anywhere in the world. That is because it is convenient and way too easy to produce. There are no barriers or design paradigm that it needs to follow strictly. Therefore, all things about plastic production are quite unstoppable. That is the reason why there has never been a reliable solution to resolve its massive single-use packaging problem. People do not rethink and evaluate the entire system of plastic production. But there are quite some industries that initiate in changing the whole plastic production and consumption system where they include taking and making something out of plastics. Some of these are shoe thread, cement fillers, tables, chairs, and other stuff that pretty much takes plastic out of uselessness.
Honestly, no one bothers to consider changing the plastic system not until the marine world cried out loud. It is a sad reality that for people to recognize the damage that plastics caused in marine life, sea creatures must first die and suffer in the most antagonizing way. Yes, an aim to start for a change is good. However, implementing a world policy will need to take time. It is entirely impossible to create a massive difference in one single night. Psychologist Ginette Paris devastatingly wrote, “We are in the adolescent phase now, experiencing heartbreak with nature right now,” she said, “Where good nature and bad humans is a reversal of our old myth of God is good, while nature, women, and body are bad!”
And what is more unfortunate is that not all people are comfortable in changing their ways. Not all individuals are okay with not using plastics. Some are still buying single-use plastics because they are used to doing it. Therefore, companies are not obligating themselves to create a change or think for an alternative as well. You see, it is always a two-way process. If the consumer is still buying, then companies will continue creating.
You see, even if people are looking straight on the result of their actions, some are still inconsiderate. Regardless of the ocean gets filthy or the marine life gets endangered, yet, nobody cares. There are these people who think that their actions will not matter because of their limited number. There is this mentality that they believe they are the only ones who are doing it, so it will not take much of a difference. But the truth is, millions of people think and act the same damaging way.
Barbara Markway, Ph.D. advises, “Fall in love with the earth. Go outside. Hug a tree. Watch a bird. Look up. This will motivate all of us to make needed changes.”
The idea of “too late” is never a term for this. It is not an eye-opening too. What people need is suffering and life endangerment so that they will be able to understand what it is like when the world shuts down on them.
In case you haven’t thought about it, climate change can be pretty much scary. Yes, a lot of people do not fear the caution right at this moment, and that is entirely understandable. Maybe they still haven’t seen any Earth proven destruction that can alarm them at an extreme level. Some of them may know a thing, but not until they witness it with their eyes; the damage of climate change will remain as a thought. Psychologist Oumar Konare says, “Nowadays, global climate change and environment and wildlife protection have never been more talked about, with the prospect of humankind irremediably damaging our Home. At the same time, this destruction of our environment is taking its toll on us: some natural resources such as oil, soil, and fisheries are being used up, and subsequently conflicts and entrenched hunger are being exacerbated by this scarcity.”
In case there is a slight concern left, let’s find out how we can be proactive in addressing the situation.
How To Help
One way to help in addressing climate change is driving less when we can. If the destination is not that far and is close enough, it might as well consider taking an alternative. There is walking or riding a bike, which is both beneficial for our health, by the way. If in case the location needs vehicle travel, instead of driving our car, we can choose to carpool instead. It might be useful if we use public transportation too. With this simple approach, we get to help reduce vehicle consumption along with its carbon dioxide emission.
This is important because environmental changes affect teens and children as well. “The brains of children and teens are still growing and developing,” notes Lise Van Susteren, a psychologist. “Those growing brains make young people “particularly vulnerable to environmental stressors,” she adds.
One known method that we need to practice diligently is recycling and reusing things when we can. Recycling can impact climate change a lot because recycled products can help save production energy. It can include the production of our food, plastics, cans, gadgets, furniture, etc. Yes, we sometimes excuse ourselves from throwing away stuff because we do not need them anymore. Occasionally, we get no chance of even using it again. But instead of throwing it all out, we can always donate it to charity if the product is still in good condition or give the recyclable materials to recycling companies.
Diet can also create a massive contribution to addressing climate change. Yes, eating less meat is a plus point. As the animal agriculture industry emits large portions of greenhouse gases, frequent consumption of the meat will negatively sustain the emission. No, eating less meat does not necessarily mean we have to go vegan or vegetarian. Allowing a simple meat-less day or using a plant-based option meal once in a while can help a little bit.
The most important thing to do in helping to save the Earth is going through inspiring others. Providing people the right information that helps boost their environmental awareness can create a huge impact. Not only it will cater to the need of understanding climate change, but it also allows the solution to community problems. Some of these are proper waste management disposals, electric reservations, adequate water consumption, and so on.
“Nonetheless,” says Sander van der Linden Ph.D., “the finding that people derive and anticipate internal pleasure from helping to save the planet, even just a little, is something to be harnessed, nurtured, and celebrated.”
The process of spreading the word in the motive of helping the Earth can be as easy as talking to family and friends about climate change issues. We can all work together in building groups and small organizations that allow the local community to partake. As long as we look forward to a healthier and greener future, each of us can help and make a difference.
A therapist in any city tends to entertain clients in different ways. Some have a little friendly chat with the patients to get them comfortable before starting the consultation process, for instance. Others, meanwhile, stock up on snacks and tea or coffee that they can offer to clients while either waiting or feeling too stressed out. And as clinical psychologist John Duffy puts it, “I find that I’m far better at guiding people to manage their stress than I am at taking my own advice, and managing my own.”
The thing is, a patient who also happens to be an environmentalist may have a couple of issues with the latter, particularly when it comes to the beverages. To be specific, this person may wonder about the equipment used to heat up the coffee or tea, as well as how safe the water that gets mixed with such liquids is. Aside from anxiety, depression, and other psychological conditions, after all, the patient may have had a traumatic experience with drinking unpurified water. The construction of electric kettles and the burning of fossil fuels whenever the item gets plugged in may not sit well with them either.
If you can relate to such issues and want to avoid having to go to a therapist specifically because of those, perhaps we can fancy you with a few eco-friendly recommendations.
Top 3 Glass Kettles
If there is one beverage that I can drink for each passing day of my life besides water, it will be tea. I like how it hydrates my body every time, how it calms my nerves, and how some studies say it can take me one skip away from having cancer. “Tea drinking could provide a leisurely addition, or even an alternative, to the mood-boosting effects of exercise,” says neuropsychiatrist Stefan Borgwardt.
Thus, to get the most out of it, there are three glass kettles that I use alternately.
The first one is the Numi Organic Glass Teapot and 6 Flowering Tea Blossoms. To see the edible flowers bloom before your eyes are satisfying. It is as if you see something magical happen. The bonus is that you will get to drink the sweet tea that the combination of the hot water and the flowers has produced.
When I do not have a second to waste in the morning, I bring out my Medelco 12-Cup Glass Stovetop Whistling Kettle and dash back to my bedroom to get ready for work. The tea will not overflow because the teapot gives me a clear indication if it is prepared to be taken out of the stove. I have never needed to look at the kitchen mitts either since the handle does not heat up.
However, the best glass tea kettle in my eyes is the BonJour Zen Glass Teapot, which seems to be the byproduct of fusing modern and old styles. The wooden stand, scoop, and handle have been amazingly crafted for the tea lovers who are meticulous about the tea-making process. The stainless infuser that keeps the tea within the mesh is excellent too because I do not want leaves swirling in my teacup.
3 Tips On How To Purify Water at Home
Having purified water to drink daily can keep a person or a family away from contracting diseases that hard metals, bacteria, and other microorganisms contaminating the reservoir can cause. Alicia Clark, PsyD, says, “A replenishing mental health day should include consuming as much water as possible, restoring hydration and flushing toxins, which in turn can perk up your body and mind.”
Hence, below are several tips on how to purify water at home for drinking purposes.
1. Use The Boiling Technique
Boiling is a traditional method of water purification. When you allow the pot to sit under the flame until the bubbles come up quickly, indicating that the water is at its highest temperature, the microbes and metallic elements that are mixed in the water will be eradicated. This is the reason why the kettles or any cookware that you make use of for boiling gets coated with a thick layer of white substance over time. That is practically the calcium that evaporated from the water.
2. Try A Water Filtering System
Homeowners nowadays have access to purification apparatuses and continuously have germ-free water available for the people living in the house. Some prefer this technique because they will not have to wait and spend much on gas.
These purifiers vary in size and use. While a few of them need to stand on the sink or get connected directly to the spout, others have a more sophisticated design. Examples for the latter are the ones that utilize UV lamp or pump or floating filters.
3. Drop Purification Tablets
If you are looking for an instant way to purify water, you may get chemical tablets from specialty shops. This is beneficial for individuals who often go to remote areas around the world which do not have a stable supply of clean water. Just a word of caution, the iodine tablets may not be used by senior citizens or pregnant women.
In The End
As the saying goes, “It is better to be safe than sorry.” Heed these tips to have drinkable water for your coffee, tea, and other beverages all the time.
A new study shows that higher particulates in the air can affect our brains and cause mental disorders. Psychologists agree to this. The effects of air pollution are severe that it can destroy our lungs and damage our cardiovascular health. It is already a given fact. This effect on our brain health is a discovery.
Plastic is handy. It allows people to store things conveniently and cheaply. It is also an easily acquired resource. There probably isn’t a single family out there that doesn’t use some form of plastic.
However, with all its practical uses, plastic comes with a dire consequence—its effects on the environment. It takes ages for plastic particles to break down. When they do, the wildlife ingests the broken down particles, which could kill them. Should they survive, the plastic particles will remain in their system and be passed on to whatever they fall prey.
To prevent the harmful effects of plastic from continuing, we have to stop it at its source. One way to work toward this is to lessen one’s plastic use. Here are a few ways to reduce one’s consumption of plastic in the household.
Stop Buying Unnecessary Plastic Items
When you buy some food to take home, a lot of restaurants pack the meal with plastic forks, spoons, and knives. This practice is a massive waste of plastic since you have your own set of utensils at home. You’d end up throwing the plastic utensils in the garbage.
When ordering take out, make sure to request the waiter or server to give you your packed meal minus the plastic cutlery. By doing this, you lessen that amount of plastic you have to throw out.
Another thing to stop collecting is the plastic water bottle. Invest in refillable water bottles, like tumblers or jugs, instead of buying ones that you’ll only use once and then throw out.
A single person who drinks water from a reusable container can save hundreds of plastic bottles from being produced annually. If a family of five chipped in as well, that would stop a little over 500 plastic bottles from being manufactured per year.
Avoid Buying Products That Contain Microbeads
Apart from the distinguishable plastic choices in the market, some products contain microplastics. Found in most cosmetics, microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are less than five millimeters long.
The next time you go shopping for bath soaps and shampoos, find out which ones do not contain microplastics. They go straight down the drain and make their way into the ocean, where they harm marine wildlife.
Invest In Reusable Items
As was mentioned above, it would be beneficial to start drinking from reusable bottles. Well, why not invest in a whole set of reusables?
Bring your shopping bag so that you don’t have to take your groceries home in more plastic bags. Pack your to-go meals in glass containers instead of using Ziplock bags. Choose metal razors with replaceable blades over plastic ones that are discarded entirely after use.
These are only a few goods that are effective plastic alternatives. There are a lot of other eco-friendly products that you can use. They’re sure to reduce your family’s plastic footprint!
Reuse Plastics You Already Own
Reducing one’s plastic use can go a long way. But let’s not forget that there are still the plastics that you already have at home. A lot of single-use plastics will have to be thrown out, but there are sure to be those that you can reuse.
Most plastic bottles and containers are for one-time use. They can be reused once or twice after being cleaned thoroughly. However, it is recommendable that they’re not used again for drinking and storing food. Commercial plastics may begin to degrade and ooze out harmful chemicals when they’re overused, especially when they’re under hot temperatures.
It might be harmful to eat or drink from industrial plastics, but there are other ways you can use them! Some art skills can transform a plastic water bottle into a pencil case. You can turn a carton of milk into a small flower pot. These are only a few examples of how to reuse plastic creatively.
Apart from plastic bottles and containers, there are also plastic bags. These are easy to acquire and store. As much as possible, don’t throw them out. You can reuse plastic bags for a lot of things within the household.
Recycle Unusable Plastics
Once you’ve set aside the plastics that you can reuse, all that’s left is to dispose of the ones that are unusable. When throwing out your garbage, make sure to segregate. Separate the plastics from the biodegradables. By doing this, waste management workers can dispose of them properly and more quickly.
We wrongly dispose of too many plastic products because of incorrect segregation. Taking the time to sort your trash appropriately can help in alleviating this problem.
Again, plastic has its uses, but if you think about it, its harmful consequences outweigh its benefits. Given this, it’s high time we stop using it so much—for our sake and the entire planet’s.