Past weeks, ecology problems and environmental awareness in the world is topic nr.1. Unfortunately, we`ve all heard of the great fires that devastated the Amazon, Siberia, Greenland, Alaska… We`ve all heard of the great sea pollution which is a major ecology problem for some time now, while the air pollution is considered to be a silent killer. Not to mention other disasters. It is clear that we are in a state of ruin and only with concrete and systematic change, both on individual and society level, will we be able to turn the future of our planet in positive direction and save the Earth for future generations.
With the increase of carbon emissions and population growth, there has never been more critical time to make the world more environmentally conscious and sustainable. Fortunately, more and more countries are beginning to take the environmental crisis seriously – fresh air, paper cups instead of plastic ones, metal straws, recycling and much more issues have become priorities.
According to the 2018 Yale University EPI report (Environmental Performance Index), Switzerland is at the top of the most environmentally friendly countries. France, Denmark, Malta and Sweden follow. Finland is in tenth place, Iceland eleventh while Norway is in fourteenth place. As we can conclude from the above, Scandinavian countries are very high on the list. For those familiar with the culture and politics of this region, this is a reflection of their commitment to sustainability and green living. Finland, for example, has committed to become carbon neutral by 2050. The top 20 of the EPI report also includes England, Luxembourg, Austria, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. Among the non-European countries, New Zealand and Japan are in the top 20 as well. It`s interesting to mention that Croatia is in the, not so envious, forty-first place.
The environment we live in determines each breath we breathe. The air, the earth and the water around us define whether we`ll be sick or healthy. The pollution puts our Earth in grave danger and the only ones who can change that are we, each and every one of us, with the change of our habits and behavior. It is important now more than ever to be aware of our day-to-day choices and the ways in which we influence the environment and its conservation.
There’s no need to wait for the collective consciousness to change. If you are wondering how each of us can contribute to protecting the environment, both at home and on travel, here are some tips. First of all, try to get rid of plastic from your daily use or at least reduce it as much as possible; there are many alternative solutions today which don`t pollute environment. Try to buy food reasonably with minimum waste after consumption. Also, if you have the opportunity, buy from local growers and producers. Try to reduce meat consumption; although it’s not something we talk about much, livestock farming has a very big environmental impact (overexploitation of water, water pollution, deforestation and, accordingly, climate change), do your own research on this topic. Recycle your waste. Plant a tree. Think about saving energy and water in your own household and start thinking the same way when you`re traveling because, except from a financial aspect, the effects are the same wherever you are. By changing our daily habits – the little things, we can make a big difference. Don`t shower in a hotel room for hours just because water is not potable or as good as the one in your country; don`t insist on a daily change of linens just because it is included in the price – you are certainly not doing it at home; don`t throw waste all around the city or in the nature just because it`s not your hometown or your nature.
There will always be people who simply don`t care, but minimal changes in the consciousness and habits of individuals will at some point become of great importance globally; and those who don`t care will remain only a minority with significantly diminished impact.
The pressure on our natural habitat, the only habitat we actually have, is increasing daily and the responsibility is solely upon us – to be aware of our own influence and to make decisions and choices that contribute to the preservation of our planet Earth, both at home and on our travels! Let`s save the only home we have.