The Nichols path to helping the environment

Global Warming, also known as Climate Change. It’s a big subject of discussion these days. Is it real or not? Are we really killing our earth with our daily actions? The answers are in the research. The amount of information out there is overwhelming. Just a simple google search can completely open your mind.

Taking care of our planet has always been something I’ve felt very passionate about. Nothing grinds my gears more than a liter bug. Recently I have realized that I have actually only been doing the bare minimum when it comes to doing my part. Needless to say in the past year our family has under gone some major changes to help out as much as we can.

The most extreme change we have made is cutting meat our of our diet. Of course we did this for the overall health benefit, but the root to why I personally became vegetarian is for the environment. Livestock alone is one of the leading factors in our degrading ecosystem. How you ask? The truth is, there are multiple reasons as to why the mass amount of livestock we have is not a good thing, but three key reasons are:

  1. Methane. Animals like cows, sheep, and goats produce methane just by eating. Methane is being released into our atmosphere every time they burp or pass gas. This seems harmless to anyone who isn’t aware of how impactful that truly is. We have had carbon dioxide drilled into our brain as the worst emission. In reality methane is 30 times worse and livestock alone is responsible for 90 tonnes of methane per year.
  2. Feed. The amount of land it takes to grow feed for the animals alone is unimaginable. More than 67% of crops grown in America are used for feed. Meaning more than half the crops you see being grown isn’t being consumed by humans. Could you imagine what we could actually use that land for if it wasn’t being used for food we don’t even plan on eating? The possibilities are endless. Then there is the fact that we are still constantly cutting down much-needed trees to make way for the growing population of livestock. You also have to take into account the amount of water we use to grow these crops, the amount of water consumed by the animals alone (Which is half of the overall consumed water in the entire country), pesticides we spray into the air, and fossil fuels we use the harvest them.
  3. Waste. Most of these animals only absorb one-third of what they eat. Therefore the rest of it is exiting their bodies and littering our earth with fecal matter. The amount exiting is mind-blowing: 500 million tons on average per year! All that waste has to go somewhere right? Want to know where? Our waterways. Livestock waste is a major factor of water pollution in America. All of that pollution doesn’t just affect the fish, it eventually finds its way into our water sources. Aside from our waterways it also affects the air near these mass production farms. Some of them pump their waste into lakes nearby, and then pump from the lake to spray crops/land around the farm. Gross right? The fecal matter being sprayed into the air from the lakes affects the nearby communities causing a list of health issues.

Although being vegetarian is a huge thing you can do for the environment, we didn’t stop there.  I have also made it my mission to cut out as much plastic as possible. It’s been a struggle, but we have come a long way. It’s a work in progress. One huge thing we have done is cut out water bottles. Did you know that Americans alone throw away 29 billion water bottles per year? That’s insane people! Plastic pollution is literally taking over our planet. Out of 400 million tons of trash thrown out yearly 12.8% of it is plastic. This number can easily be taken care of. It’s as simple as recycle, reduce, and reuse. Plastic is non degradable therefore almost every piece of plastic ever created still exists, and will exist for hundreds of years. With that being said here are some easy ways to reduce your plastic usage:

1. Invest in a Brita water filter and reusable water bottles.

2. Reusable grocery bags and produce bags. (I currently have these in my amazon cart. Thanks Bri for calling me out 😁)

3. Instead of packing lunches with plastic bags use reusable containers, silverware, and lunch boxes. Also if you can’t stand the thought of using silverware others use in restaurants bring your own reusable silverware instead of always using to-go silverware.

4. Just say no to straws! Or invest in a reusable one.
5. For the love of all things holy please stop releasing balloons into the air! They travel and end up in our waterways ultimately killing our wildlife or just straight up polluting the ground. Do something much more sentimental for your lost loved ones. You can plant trees in their honor, or even beautiful flower gardens.

6. Recycle, recycle, recycle! And one more time for the people in the back RECYCLE ♻️!!!

I know that this is only the beginning of our journey to being more environmentally efficient. As we continue on this important path of helping out our enviroment I will be sure to keep you updated. In the meantime ask your self what can you do to help save our home? 🌎

Need ideas?

  • Try a meatless diet
  • Use less energy. If possible take all actions to make your house energy-efficient.    The less energy used = less fossil fuels being used
  • Stop littering
  • Recycle
  • Carpool, ride a bike, or walk to your destinations we ever possible
  • Pay attention to what you invest your money into. When you support the big businesses that refuse to be environmentally safe, you are only encouraging them to never change

Resources:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327111724.htm

https://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/march/livestock-revolution-environment-031610.html

https://whatsyourimpact.org/greenhouse-gases/methane-emissions#footnote1_pyicgrw

https://www.vox.com/2014/8/21/6053187/cropland-map-food-fuel-animal-feed

onegreenplanet.org

kids.nationalgeographic.com

Documentaries: Before the flood, Cowspiracy, and What the health

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