Our planet's ecosystems have evolved over millions of years, resulting in diverse and complex biological communities living in balance with their environment. Regrettably, human activity has impacted nature in practically every corner of the world as a result of our resource-intensive way of life—think heating, lighting and building materials, all putting a strain on our natural world. However, with plants and animals threatened by extinction and climate change a proven fact, can we still preserve the natural world for our future?
The answer to that question is a hopeful yes, according to a recent report by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). We'll be discussing easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint a little later on.
Human Impact on The Natural World
According to the WWF report, the world's population has doubled since the 1970s, and humans' pressure on the natural world has soared. With effects such as pollution, burning of fossil fuels, and deforestation to name but a few, overexploitation is becoming a harsh reality. These negative impacts can cause long-term changes in climate and wildlife habitat and have significant consequences on our well-being and increase the risk of infectious diseases.
By way of habit, we all do things that pollute the environment in one way or another, often without knowing it, and we need to avoid them at all cost.
Consumer Culture Versus the Climate
Not many consumers stop to think about the environmental impact of their buying habits. Still, the reality can be pretty staggering, especially in a world of next-day delivery and Amazon Prime when convenience is put to the test. As we see the rise of concepts like fast-fashion and fast-beauty, retailers are manufacturing a huge number of quick-turn-around products to keep up with our demand for more, more, more—promoting a throwaway culture driven by impulse purchases where garments and cosmetics are bought, used once and then disposed of. This wasteful practise is a symptom of an impulse approach to products and to solve it, we need a new way forward.
Protecting Our Natural World Starts with Us
You may feel like these environmental problems are out of your control. You are not alone; climate change can be overwhelming. The science is complicated, and when it comes to future consequences, it's difficult to visualise the impact when you can't see the direct effects of your actions in front of you. While real solutions will need action on a global scale, becoming a sustainable consumer to reduce your impact on the environment is a lot easier than you might think.
Now we are aware of how we are damaging the environment, here are a few steps you can take to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle in your efforts towards more ethical consumerism:
- Refuse: This principle involves the intentional refusal of waste, such as unnecessary packaging. The principle is aimed at reducing what we consume in general. The less we consume (or refuse), the less is produced that needs to be disposed of.
- Reduce: Reducing what we consume and living a more minimalist lifestyle is what one should be looking to aim at. So, if you can't or won't completely refuse an item, reducing the amount you use is much better than nothing.
- Reuse: We have created a "throwaway" culture by normalising consumer behaviour of using materials once and then throwing them away. But there are lots of ways to reuse unwanted items in an effort to reduce waste, simply practice reusing instead of buying new. Don't be afraid to think outside the box.
Recycle: Recycling is a better option than throwing something away. Anything that we cannot refuse, reduce or reuse we should be able to recycle.
Our Final Thoughts on Preserving the Natural World
Here at Wǒ, we are committed to sustainable beauty to support the demand for healthy and eco-conscious products. We pride ourselves in our environmentally-friendly formulations, production practices and packaging methods.
While the facts are scary, we still have time to act and become conscious consumers. Every time you opt to reuse or recycle, you're doing your bit for our natural world. Together, we can all help to preserve mother nature—one ethical step at a time.
Have you taken steps in your daily routine to help preserve our natural world? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or sending a DM at @wearewo_uk.