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Why We Should Take Care Of Our Environment
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Karen Bell is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.

Bryce is nine years old, he lives in Midway, and he is my grandson.  He loves telling me jokes, and in his opinion, they are super funny.  I asked him, "What do you think about planting trees in your community?" He said, "Planting trees are fun and sometimes boring." I asked him what he meant about boring.  He wishes they would grow faster because the tree he planted is taking too long to develop.  So watching it is boring. He wants it to grow already!  I just smiled and told him, "Beautiful things take time to grow, just like you!" He looked at me and said he just wants to climb the tree. 

Bryce likes to help volunteer with me from time to time.  Most of the time, he has no choice because he goes where I go when he is with me.  I asked him do he care about the environment.   His response was, "Yes, Ma'am." He said, "Nana, the trees clean our air, and I like looking at the flowers." He explained that we would not have clean water to drink, and the animals would not have things to eat.  He also said that we get our food supply from the environment, so we have to take care of it, and it will take care of us.  So, I gave him an assignment to find out why we should take care of the environment.  He found an article by Joe Clements, dated October 17, 2019, Caring for the Environment: 8 Reasons to Protect & Sustain Earth: 

The environment around us is not only our home but everything that keeps us alive. From the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, our shelter, and more, it helps us to survive. Therefore, caring for the environment is something that should be inherent in us.  Sometimes, our actions endanger everything that surrounds us, including ourselves. Our interaction with the environment should be in a way that we use the resources that nature provides, but in a sustainable manner. We should ensure that our actions don't end up harming the environment as we are the ones to suffer later.

Today, let's look at how we can take care of our environment, as well as the reasons why we should protect the earth and the environment.   Although some of us may take this lightly, it is critical to know that we don't have anywhere else we can run to. If we spoil what we have here, we will suffer the consequences of our actions. If we take care of nature, then nature will also take care of us in return.  When we pollute the water sources, we are the ones who will lack clean water.  If we cut down all trees for our short-term goals, we will suffer global warming, lack of rainfall to grow our food, and many other adverse situations.

Therefore, if we love our lives, we must love nature.  The more we take care of our environment, the more we can have a cleaner and habitable home. If, on the other hand, we neglect nature and undertake actions that harm it, the more difficulties we will have to access clean essentials like water, food, and shelter. Polluted water sources and air will bring about devastating effects like diseases, such as cancer and various respiratory illnesses. Everyone, therefore, has a role in ensuring they maintain a clean environment we can all live in.

A report by US EPA showed that air pollution is closely associated with various body conditions like asthma and heart attacks, premature mortality, bronchitis, and more.  The research also indicates that our indoor surroundings are 2 to 5 times more contaminated than the outside environment.  Even just a minor increase in the atmospheric temperature can bring drastic changes in the weather patterns. If the average global temperatures rise, we will have changes in seasons, affecting both plants and animals.

Some plants may not survive in some temperatures, which would mean that some areas will experience food shortages. We will also experience things like strong storms and floods, among others. If you thought global warming wasn't real, you should think again. It is real and here with us.  The worst thing about this is that human beings are the major contributors to these damaging occurrences. Our activities, such as industrialization and waste disposal methods, are significant causes of greenhouse gases.  Our habit of cutting down trees reduces the ability of nature to minimize gases like CO2 from the atmosphere.

Almost all our activities affect the ecosystem in one way or the other. If we negatively impact the ecosystem, we put various species on the verge of extinction. For example, if we pollute the water bodies with plastic or leaked oil, we kill the species that live there. Therefore, as we produce, consume, and dispose of waste materials, we should consider how it will affect the ecosystem. Again, it does not only affect what surrounds us, but it also affects us as well. Some poisonous gases and radioactive wastes directly affect human life. 

Therefore, we should take care of our surroundings to prevent occurrences that may be detrimental to our source of livelihood.  The various things we use like furniture, rubber, food, and shelter, among others, comes from raw materials we get from forests. Deforestation, therefore, means that we are at risk of lacking such essential materials.  Also, forests offer a home to different birds, animals, and even some people. Almost half of the world's species live in these forests. If we destroy our forests, we eliminate the home of multiple species.  We should, therefore, make sure that we use forest resources at a rate that doesn't affect its life.  Since nature is the source of our livelihood, it's only fitting that we should also be kind to it. Every person has a moral obligation to take care of nature. Not only because it takes care of us, but because it's also the right thing to do.  To learn more about taking care of our community and our environment, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at (912) 880-4888 or at  KLB wants to thank everyone that was able to volunteer and support us during 2020 – 2021.  We hope to see most of you at our Volunteer Appreciation today.
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