Human-induced climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land system change, and high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen runoff from the soil into the oceans have put the environment and global food supply chain at immediate peril. Carbon dioxide levels are at historic highs, species are disappearing, and the planet is getting warmer, and while some life forms will be able to survive in these new conditions, there’s a chance that humans won’t be one of them.
Earth Day is an important reminder of the delicate balance between existence and extinction. Temperatures only a few degrees (Celsius) warmer can cause certain crops to fail and leave agricultural lands barren. Earth Day forces us to look at the broader issues of pollution, global warming, and frivolous energy use, and then reflect on how we as individuals can make a difference in our own lives. It’s easy to feel insignificant in a world of seemingly insurmountable problems, but there are steps that we can take to really make a difference. Supporting certain environmental conservation organizations, cutting down on meat consumption, or starting a compost pile in your backyard are simple ways to limit or reverse your personal environmental impact.
Here’s a helpful list of 15 Earth Day actions and activities that will really make a difference.