Green Straight Up’s goal is to show different ways to live more simply, eat lower on the food chain, and conserve natural resources. By making a few changes and simple adjustments, we can significantly reduce our impact on the environment while improving our quality of life.
For instance, riding your bicycle to work will reduce your carbon emissions, tone your muscles, and allow your body to absorv some vitamin D. Riding a bike will also help you relieve stress, connect with your surroundings, and will ultimately save you some gas money. You can also make a difference by eating more vegetables and less animal products. A plant-based diet can significantly reduce your carbon footprint, boost your immune system, and improve your overall health! Moreover, if you look into the living conditions of animals raised for food, you will definitely feel better about cutting down on meat, milk, cheese, eggs, and all of their derivatives. There is no doubt, learning to be more environmentally conscious is a win-win situation!
Green Up Your Life!
Eating lower on the food chain, conserving natural resources, appreciating nature, and being aware of the repercussions of our daily actions are all excellent ways to become more environmentally conscious. By greening up our act, we can lower our carbon footprint and help to preserve our precious ecosystem:
- Conserve natural resources, such as water, plants, soil and energy.
- Eat lower on the food chain: plant based and vegan diets rock!
- Plant a tree! And introduce some indoor plants to your life, they will add beauty to your home and filter common pollutants from the air.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle and restore! Be more frugal and live more simply!
- Get outdoors and connect with nature, it helps to build a better relationship with your environment!
- Read more and get informed! There are many recent studies, articles, books and documentaries that do a great job of showing the current state of our planet and its relationship with our actions.
- The current state of America’s fisheries is clearly unacceptable. Fifty-four stocks are classified as over-fished, 45 stocks are experiencing overfishing and just over half of the nation’s stocks remain in an uncertain status. Due to declining stocks and lost fishing opportunity, more than 72,000 jobs have been lost in the Pacific Northwest alone. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
- More than 60% of deforested areas of the Brazilian Amazon forest are used for grazing cattle, while only five percent is used for agriculture, study made from satellite imagery in 2011 by the Brazilian government.
- Each year, mining companies dump more than 180 million tons of hazardous mine waste into rivers, lakes, and oceans worldwide, threatening vital bodies of water with toxic heavy metals and other chemicals poisonous to humans and wildlife, report released on 02/28/12 by Earthworks and MiningWatch Canada.
- The market share of “light trucks” -a segment of the car market that includes SUVs, mini vans and pickup trucks- grew steadily from 9.7% in 1979 to 47% in 2001 and remained in 50% numbers up to 2011, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ).
- Each year, Americans throw away some 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags. (Only 0.6 percent of plastic bags are recycled.) Worldwatch Institute.
- “40% of global grain production is used in livestock feed, although in richer countries the proportion of grain used on animal feed is 70%. Producing 1kg of beef requires 15 times as much land as producing 1kg of cereals, and 70 times as much land as 1kg of vegetables”, (WWF, World Wild Foundation).
We are removing fish from oceans and rivers at a rate that cannot be sustained. By consuming fish, we are actively participating in the destruction of ecosystems.
There are thousands of animals, insects and plants species that are still being discovered every year, and as a natural cycle, the planet loses thousands of species every year as well. But we have been deforesting green areas around the world at such a high rate that we are accelerating these biological processes and rapidly erasing entire species, jungles and forests from the map.
70% of the Earth is covered in water, but only 3% of all that water is freshwater that can be processed and purified for human consumption. Two-thirds of that 3% is locked up in glaciers and polar ice caps, or runs underground in aquifers and wells that are drying up more and more every year. We can’t live without drinking water, why are we dumping contaminating waste into the rivers? Why are we generating so much contaminating waste?
The life span of a plastic bag hasn’t been determined with exactitude yet because they haven’t been around that long, but it is estimated that plastic bags can take from 100 to 1000 years to decompose. What is already known is that in some parts of the ocean there are 6 pounds of plastic for every pound of plankton and that thousands of animals die getting choked with plastic bags every year. How can we still be using 10,000 plastic bags per second?
SUVs and trucks sales in the US are high for two main reasons: because people can afford them and because 35.7% of U.S. adults are obese (NHANES, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey). These vehicles offer the comfort of extra space and cargo capacity, and the advantages of an all-terrain vehicle with high pulling capability; they also offer an average of 18 MPG. Many people drive these big SUVs back and forth to work everyday and share their carbon footprint with nobody. What a waste!
We are a consumerist society and we need to start thinking about more sustainable options if we want to address our needs. The world’s population is growing at a very high pace. As small as we might feel in the big scheme of events, we can make a big difference if we explore better options and make small changes to the way we complete our everyday tasks.
“There is enough on earth for everybody’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.” Mahatma Gandhi
Now, it’s on you to do your own research, analysis, and evaluations. Draw your own conclusions. GSU’s advice: get informed, question everything, try to be impartial, look at the facts and the sources, and be a little skeptical with everyone, starting with GSU.