byMilkbox05-06-202011:49 AM - edited 05-06-202011:50 AM
As we progress into the 21st century, the effects of climate change are undeniable. Fortunately, thanks to worldwide media coverage, there’s a growing number in communities getting more involved in protecting our indigenous land from corporate interests and other personal gains. But before we test the waters, how much do we actually know about the environment? Here are some interesting facts to learn a little more about our home, the world around us:
1. Haze: Clearing the Air
Haze is no stranger to us Malaysians and other parts of Southeast Asia. It has become a normal occurrence and caused the closure of schools and deterioration of health nationwide. The damage it does to us is undeniable. Avoiding outdoor exposure, investing in air filters, and wearing masks are crucial to beat the haze. Although it’s out of our control in terms of who sets the fire, what we can do is voice out to relevant parties and become advocates for sustainable palm oil. There’s a role to play here to protect human rights, and natural resources.
2. A cotton shopping bag must be used for more than 130 times to lessen the impact on the environment.
Over 130 times sounds like a lot for sure, but let’s look at it this way. For each person who switches from single-use bags to cotton shopping bags, overtime it reduces the number of uses needed to create an impact. So think about investing in one before your next grocery run or shopping spree!
3. Cows’ farts & burps are more damaging towards the environment since Methane gas is 20x more powerful than carbon dioxide.
Ridiculous, but weirdly true. Each cow releases 200-400lbs per year of methane through flatulence. Most of it is released as burps, but some certainly escapes out of the rear end too. Farts are funny, but global warming is not. To ensure eliminating cows does NOT become an option, let’s look at other ways we can do to reduce emissions. Maybe reconsider what we eat or a giant fan to blow it all away?
4. Fungi are known to help manage the environment. They break down dead animals and plants, consume fossil fuel and even de-radiate the environment.
We’re probably more familiar with seeing some species as an ingredient. But this is no ordinary portobello or button mushroom. These fungi tend to sprout in areas with contaminated soil and grow better in the presence of radiation like Chernobyl, feasting on everything bad for the environment in the area. I guess you could call them the “king of cleaning”.
5. If the Earth’s average temperature increases by 1.5 degree celsius per year, it could be detrimental to global warming.
Here’s a fact that everyone should be aware of. It’s not just about the number, but how it fits into the reality that it pushes many of the natural systems that sustain us to near extinction. But not all hope is lost. We still have a shot at holding the line at 1.5 degrees by transitioning away from fossil fuels to safeguard our well-being. Let’s work together to give our children a better world to live in.
6. Some of the water you drink might have been passed through a dinosaur.
The water in your glass may be the same water dinosaurs drank because of the way water circulates around our planet. Water from lakes and oceans evaporate into the atmosphere and form clouds. When it gets too heavy, water falls as rain, snow, or hail and the cycle continues. It’s also the same water that’s going to keep life on our planet in the years to come so fighting water pollution is as important as ever.
7. There is a charge for congestion that you have to pay if you drive a vehicle within a certain area during weekdays.
In order to help the environment and encourage the use of public transportation, countries like London, Singapore, Oslo, Delhi and Stockholm have implemented a fine for driving within a “Congestion Charge Zone”. In London, the fine goes up to £11.50 daily which equals to about RM60! But what benefit does this bring to our planet? It helps us directly understand what it costs when we contribute to congestions / pollutants in both long and short terms. This in turn, helps us become more aware of our impact on the environment.
8. Whale poop plays a large role in the environment by helping to offset carbon in the atmosphere.
Did you know that whales facilitate carbon absorption in two ways? One is their movement - when diving, it pushes nutrients from the bottom of the ocean to the surface where they feed phytoplanktons and other marine flora that suck in carbon. The other, is by pooping. Yes...pooping. It introduces nutrients that create marine plants in the area, which absorbs carbon in the atmosphere. It’s no wonder it’s worth more than gold.
9. Paradise or Para-Yikes?
The Aloha state is presumed to have one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But not all is perfect in paradise, and Kamilo Beach in Hawaii shows us why. From car parts to shoes, the beach has made headlines for having over 20,000 pounds of debris washed up on shore each year. Fishing debris such as fishing nets, ropes and strangles have brought significant damage to wildlife in the area. Although groups of volunteers do come to clean up the beach annually, they believe that the right solution must come from us no longer relying on plastics, especially single-use items.
The environment we live in is constantly evolving. Global warming is real and it’s time we educate ourselves and turn ideas into actionable solutions.Discover all the wonders of World Environment Day with Malaysia's Largest Network.