I am still reeling from WWF’s Living Planet Report that was released this week. Obviously I knew that the report wasn’t going to show that we were doing an amazing job at fighting off climate change, that no species were in decline, that plastic isn’t an issue and that forests aren’t being wiped out everyday. Even so, it is still so hard to stomach the reality that is the world we live in.
We have to stop taking this world for granted. We have to stop ignoring the impacts of production and stop living such wasteful lifestyles.
In Summary, the Living Planet Report states that:
- Global wildlife populations have declined by 60% since 1970 (ONLY FORTY YEARS)
- The total numbers of over 4,000 mammal, bird, reptile, fish and amphibian species have declined rapidly between 1970-2014
- Land that is free from human impact is predicted to drop from a quarter to 1/10th by 2058
- 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs
- Half of the world’s shallow water corals have been lost in the last three decades and if trends continue they are likely to be gone within the century
- If trends continue, the arctic will be ice-free in summer by 2050
- There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050
WWF lists threats to biodiversity such as:
- Overexploitation and agricultural activity from consumption
- Land degradation
- Bees, other pollinators and soils (who are critical to food growth) are under threat
- Pollution and habitat degradation
- Climate change (IT’S REAL PEOPLE)
- Overfishing and plastic pollution
WWF states that we are living through the “Great Acceleration” which is unlike any other event in earth’s history. This is due to the economic growth which requires more resources of land, water and energy and an exploding human population. Scientists say we are now heading into a new epoch, the Anthroprocene due to the large amount of human induced change. Nature isn’t just nice to have. Our health, food and security depend on biodiversity, from medical advances to food production. All economic activity ultimately depends on nature (WWF).
We are the first generation to realize what we are doing to this planet and we are the last generation that has the opportunity to save the earth. Right now, we are witnessing the largest loss of biodiversity since the dinosaurs were wiped out 66 million years ago. And we are doing it. You and me.
We may not be the people killing orangutans or burning forests, but we are the ones buying the palm oil. We may not be the people on the boat overfishing the ocean, but we are still buying fish from unsustainable markets. We still drive our cars. We still fly around the world.
Imagine a world where a scientist could have found a cure for cancer, except the plant needed for the cure doesn’t grow on the earth anymore. Imagine a world where you can’t grow crops due to extreme temperatures or water droughts. Imagine a world where you are having a bad day and you can’t go into a park, because there is no nature left. Imagine more drought. Imagine more intense storms. Imagine more extreme rainfall and rising sea levels.
I highly encourage you to read the Living Planet Report from WWF. It’s not something to take lightly. To lose 60% of the earths wildlife species in 40 years is absolutely terrifying. 40 years isn’t even a blink of an eye in relation to the life of the planet (WWF). You can look at the whole report or the summary here: https://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/all_publications/living_planet_report_2018/
If you’re still with me, let’s not get down on ourselves! There is still so much hope! I made the domoregood pages so that I could try inspire people to make changes. I may annoy you with posts about bringing your own mug, recycling, not buying palm oil (so many posts coming your way), and to stop buying single use items in general.. and you might say “What difference can I make?” But the truth is you can make a difference. If 8 billion people start to make little changes, then we are already moving forward in a positive direction. But if 8 million people say they don’t think they could make a difference and do nothing, nothing will be done. Let’s stop taking the earth for granted and make an effort to save it.
So, please keep following along on instagram and facebook for earth friendly tips! Start somewhere simple. Do one thing until it becomes a habit, and then start another. You don’t have to go completely zero waste, live off the grid, never go on another vacation or take public transportation everywhere. Simply start somewhere. Avoid single use plastic like plastic water bottles, straws, stirrers, cutlery and cups. Avoid palm oil or look for sustainable palm oil. Bring your reuseable bags to the store until you don’t have to think twice about bringing them, then maybe try reusable produce bags. By educating yourself and making little changes is how we are going to beat this sad earth diagnosis.
Vote with your dollar. I could talk about this all day. Everytime you want to buy something, ask yourself if you really need it. Buy used if you can. Look at the carbon footprint of the item- how and where it was produced, and how it is going to get to you. If you are looking at a normal everyday plastic item- could you buy a sustainable, biodegradable option in bamboo? Every time you buy something you are shaping the market. If we buy more and more earth friendly options, more and more earth friendly options will become main stream and the plastic ones will dissapear. Think about this at Christmas (more posts to come). Do you really need to buy this person a gift? Do you think they will even use what you buy them, or you buying it because you feel like you have too? Gift experiences. Do you really need all these paper and bows to wrap your items? Buy a child in a developing country clean water or sponsor a child. Since our wildlife species are in such a state of decline, donate to a charity or sponsor an animal in someone’s name. Spend your money in a way that saves our home.
Let’s be the generation that woke up. The generation who didn’t sit back and watch the earth go to shit, but made little changes in their everyday lives and improved the planet. Let’s make earth live-able for our children, their children and their children’s children. Let’s not let these years pass by and be known as the generation that knew what was going on, but stood by and did nothing. I for one won’t stand for that.
Let’s keep trying to #doingmoregood,
Photo: A photo of the Amazon river, from when I lived on a boat in the Peruvian Amazon for a month doing wildlife research. Such a beautiful and truly wild place in the world that should stay untouched.