The Environment Today

Factory pipe polluting air

The study of environmental studies relates to identifying and understanding environmental issues. There are a wide range of environmental issues we are currently facing. Some of these issues include pollution, land clearing, and the mining industry.

Here we will talk about each of them:

Pollution

The most common forms of pollution are:
• Air pollution – Emissions from cars, factories, etc
• Light Pollution – This is over illumination of areas which can cause issues for some animals.
• Noise pollution – Construction noise, airports, road noises, etc
• Littering – People these days are carelessly throwing things out and not disposing of them properly. For example, I have seen many things in our beautiful forests from electronics to products for weight loss. These things should never be out in our forests.
• Water Pollution – This refers to the contamination of the water ways by chemical waste water. This can cause major issues for animals in the area.

Land Clearing / Deforestation

Land clearing or deforestation is the process of demolishing the forest and removing the trees. This may be for a number of reasons including to enable the area for another use of the land or sell the trees for profit.

Deforestation breakdown (approx. figures):
Agriculture is responsible for about 49%
Commercial agriculture is responsible for about 32%
Logging is responsible for about 14%
Fuel wood removals is responsible for about 5%

Mining Industry

You can’t argue that the mining industry does terrible things to our environment. Just look at the massive holes left in the ground, or any tailings dam spills/breaches. Although these days mining companies are held responsible for their mess ups (in some countries), there is still more that they can do to help the environment and lessen the impact of their work.

The good news is that things seem to be getting better. Environmental issues are getting more exposure and people / companies are being held responsible for their mistakes.

Sources:

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_environment

Natures Benefits

nature

More often than not, your average day most likely includes very little time outside: you commute to your office in your car, sit indoors in front of a computer screen for eight hours, and then travel right home, where you spend the rest of the evening huddled inside. Long gone are the days during which you could stay outside all day long; as an adult, we tend to stick to the great indoors unless it’s vacation time. However, it’s important to make sure you work some outside hours into your schedule. Nature is incredibly beneficial, and can offer a wealth of health benefits when you head outside.

Because our lives have shifted increasingly more indoors over the past few decades, we have become less healthy. Obesity rates have more than doubled, and our rates of depression have risen along with our average body weight. We are more stressed than ever before, and it’s all because we aren’t getting the same connection to nature that we once did. When we head outdoors, we offer our bodies and our brains a whole host of healthy and helpful improvements. For example, when we go outside we tend to stay active – running, jogging, walking, or even strolling – which helps keep us active and our bodies moving regularly. Additionally, time spent out under the rays of the warm sun provide us with vitamin D, which makes us happy. Vitamin D also reduces the risk of bone problems, heart diseases, and even Type 2 diabetes.

As for the mind, the great outdoors also benefits our attention spans. If you’re surrounded by endless “smart” devices and technology, chances are you constantly feel like you’re multitasking – and as a result, you may find yourself unable to focus on any one task. Heading outdoors will help you to regain your focus and find your peace, quiet, and calm away from your hectic life. Additionally, scientific research has found that those who head outside are able to better perform on tasks, and even improve their critical thinking capabilities. Step outside of your usual indoor environments for just a few minutes – or perhaps even an afternoon or two – and you’ll find yourself improving in so many different areas.

The Negative Effects Cattle Have on the Environment

Cattle

You probably don’t think much about cattle on a daily basis – not when you sit down to eat a bit of beef, not while holding a hamburger, and certainly not while staring at a cut of your favorite steak. However, the beef we consume so often does more than leave its mark on our taste buds. The cattle who roam and ultimately become our source of protein have a great impact on the world itself, and the environment as a whole. Not all of their lasting impact is positive as well – here are the ways in which the cattle around the world harm the environment within which they roam.

Perhaps most detrimental to the human populace, cattle can cause serious harm in the medical field. Cattle are typically given antibiotics and supplements on a daily basis; not because the cows themselves are ill, although they are used for that purpose as well, but in an effort to bulk up the animals before they become meat for consumption. In their daily diet, cattle consume many antibiotics and supplements to promote their growth throughout their brief lives. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that approximately 80 percent of all antibiotics used are for animals rather than human disease treatment. 90 percent of those antibiotics are given to the cattle through food or water – and those drugs seep into both the animal meat and the land itself. The more prevalent antibiotics are, the more bacteria become resistant to them, which leads to an increase in widespread bacteria in the environment.

Additionally, cattle need large areas within which to roam while growing. They cannot be confined to small areas, but rather require great, grassy spaces. This leads many cattle owners to seek more land – which, in turn, causes degradation of land and loss of biodiversity. 26 percent of the Earth itself is dedicated to cattle grazing, which means that many forests, plains, and other plant-filled areas have been eliminated due to overgrazing. As the cattle eat, they kill off the plants in the surrounding areas, getting rid of entire swaths of plant life and varieties. As the cattle move to new areas to graze, more trees must be cut down, and the loss of natural life grows greater. Today, as much as 70 percent of the Amazon rain forest land is used for grazing.

Finally, cattle leave one last important effect behind: greenhouse gases. With so many cattle roaming upon so many different lands, they together expel a large amount of gaseous emissions. Every release of internal gas contributes to the pollution of the surrounding air, and works within the Earth’s atmosphere to create the greenhouse effect and its thinning of our protective environment. As increasing numbers of cattle roam and are born, the gases they emit grow, too, and enlarge the greenhouse effect.

Can Environmental Pollution Effect Our Skin

Pollution

Pollution carries tiny harmful particles in the air, and even in water, that can harm the biggest organ of our body. These particles erode the Vitamin E and other good nutrients in the various layers and cells of our skin, which can trigger the deterioration of the dermis.

What is even more dangerous is that the effects of pollution on our skin cannot be determined overnight. Not like the sun where we instantly feel and see its impact on our skin. For air and water pollution, it would take some time before we recognize the harm it has already inflicted on our body. But to what extent can pollution break our skin?

Skin breakouts

Dust, smoke, oil and tiny particles that enter the pores may clog it leading to the development of acne, eczema or other skin diseases. With toxic chemicals that may be carried along with these elements, the skin will react adversely that may cause skin allergies and rashes.

Serious skin problems

Every day you are exposed to car exhaust, rainwater, cigarette smoke, smog, ground water, and various kinds of air and water pollution. Worse of all, pollution and its harmful radicals can cause serious skin problems, such as skin cancer, without you knowing it.

Dull & dry skin

Since these tiny specks and grains of dirt penetrate the skin’s barriers and can go deeper into its layers, they can also block the moisture and dry the skin. When this happens, the skin loses its firmness and elasticity. This will lead to the premature aging of the skin wherein wrinkles and an uneven skin tone may become visible.

To counter the negative effects of pollution on your skin, it is highly recommended that you clean your skin thoroughly day and night. Take out make-up before going to bed. To neutralize the free radicals in your body, apply a serum with antioxidants after you take a bath in the morning and after you wash your face at night. It also helps to consume foods that have antioxidant qualities, like berries, vegetables and other fruits. Exfoliate your skin once or twice a week and moisturize it daily to nourish the skin with helpful oils that have been depleted due to pollution.

Things Our Environment Can Cure

boost energy levels

There are so many things in the environment today that can help us cure many things from sicknesses to skin conditions. There are also natural things that can give us more energy, look younger, and feel better. The actual full list of these items the environment has given us is massive so obviously we cannot mention all of them on this list, but here are some of the highlights we think that everyone should know.

Boost Your Energy Levels

There are many ways to boost your energy levels naturally. Things like going for a short walk each day, increasing your magnesium levels, drink more water, and goji berries can help greatly for boosting your energy levels. Even just going outside and getting into nature can really help boost your energy levels. There are many options for this all around us, and they are natural.

Stretch Marks

There are actually a few things we can do naturally to help hide our stretch marks. You could always go out and buy yourself a tube of stretch marks cream or you could use what the environment has already given us. One great way to fight stretch marks is to cut potatoes into strips and rub them on your stretch marks and let dry. After, wash off in the shower. There are also other options such as spreading lemon juice on your stretch marks, caster oil, or even egg whites.

Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety can cause many health issues if left unchecked. But the good news is that there are many natural remedies our environment has given us to help reduce anxiety. The first is camomile tea. This tea contains natural ingredients that help relax you and reduce anxiety. Try 2-3 cups of camomile tea a day and check out the results. Make sure you don’t add sugar to the tea though. Other options are having 1 to 3 grams of omega 3s or even try to breath in lavender. This has also been found to relax you.

The Affect of GMOs on the Environment

protein powderWhat does GMO even stand for and why are they bad for you? There has been a lot of press lately surrounding Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and their potential effects on our health. I thought I would break down here what they are and what are some of the main foods you might not know are commonly genetically modified. As well as how GMOs affect the environment.

 

GMOs are by definition plants or animals that have been genetically engineered generally to withstand the direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. They are also meant to increase yield, withstand drought and offer enhanced nutrition but these are yet to be proven as yet. DNA from bacteria, other plants or animals are used to modify the plant or animal to be brought to market.

 

Most nations do not consider GMOs safe. In more than 60 countries around the world including Australia, all countries part of the European Union and Japan have restrictions or bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the US however GMOs are approved for production and sale.

 

The most commonly genetically modified foods include corn, canola, soybeans and cotton. Papayas, chrysanthemums, poplars and spruce trees are also often modified along with milk, squash and zucchini. Genetically modified soy is often found in protein powders used by many as a vegan alternative to whey protein. Check out some other vegan friendly alternatives to soy protein.

 

So how do they affect the environment? Millions of extra kilos of pesticides. The six biggest producers of GMOs are also the biggest producers of chemical herbicides and insecticides. Crops are modified to be able to be immune to herbicide so that farmers can destroy weeds with without killing their crops. But weeds have grown more and more resistant to the herbicides and therefore farmers are needing to use more and more and stronger and stronger pesticides. These chemicals get into our soil and our water courses as well as being on the foods that we are purchasing every day.

GMOs are not labeled however they are prohibited in organic products.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism

http://realenergyfood.com/protein-powders-basics/

Get Outside And Enjoy The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

Look, this post is really a reminder for us all. We all get so caught up in our day to day lives that we never seem to go outside anymore. And no, I am not talking about going to the mall or grabbing a bite to eat. I am talking about going outside and spending some time in nature. Go for a walk. A ride. Picnic. Our forests are shrinking and more polluted, so the time is now to go and explore before it is too late.

I often hear the excuse, “I am too overweight to go for a hike”. In this case and you really cannot go for a hike because of your weight, then sounds like you really need to lose weight and now. I too was overweight but managed to lose a whole bunch of weight using weight loss shakes. I personally used IdealShape and is worked for me. Once you are at a weight where you feel comfortable going for a walk/hike, here are some ideas for finding a good hike in your area:

 

  • Look for the closest National Park to you. National Parks are usually a really good place to start as the hiking trails are well signed and well kept. They are often breath taking and usually well worth a visit or 2. They often also offer camping sites for a reasonable price to let you get more in touch with the outdoors.
  • Google “best beginner hikes in (your area)”. These results should bring up forums and other website which often have great suggestions. Please bear in mind that some peoples suggested trails may not be signed well so use common sense when choosing a trail.
  • Visit an Information office in your city. Going to Information is a great place to get a lot of good ideas. You can usually get free maps from there also.
  • And finally, you could also ask friends or family for suggestions.

 

There you have it. You should now have the required information to find a hiking/walking trail that suits you. I would also recommend that you get the appropriate gear for the hike if you don’t already have it. I recommend at least a good pair of hiking shoes, appropriate clothing for the hike, plenty of water, and healthy snacks. Also, always let someone know where you are going and when you should be back.

 

Happy hiking!

 

 

Sources: