Staying Current with Valentina: Positive progress in climate change

photo credit: Valentina Urbaez

It seems that as every year follows the next, and the world continues to dig its heels deeper into the most persistent environmental issues. Climate change, pollution, deforestation and extinction are just a handful of human made contributions. 

Even so, little spotlight is shined on the groups that have and are currently making progress with the health of the planet. 

It has been established that the idea of a “carbon footprint” was marketed to the public by Big Oil in order to pass blame to the consumer. But even the smallest steps toward individual improvement add up to see real change. 

Making the switch to renewable energy has led to massive improvements through using public transportation, carpooling, using energy efficient appliances at work and in homes. By slowly reducing the reliance on fossil fuels, people can slow the rate of our current warming. 

The UN has recognized international groups in their efforts to restore broken ecosystems, according to the UN environment program. The Trinational Atlantic Forest Pact involves Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina and hundreds of organizations are tasked with creating wildlife corridors, securing water supplies and have restored 700,000 hectares of land. 

The Abu Dhabi Marine Restoration program’s goal is to restore seagrass beds, coral reefs and mangrove forests to further protect the dugong population. Not only that, but this will also improve the overall biodiversity of their waters and boost local economies. By preserving biodiversity, people can slow or even reverse extinction and keep ecosystems balanced. 

The Great Green Wall for Restoration and Peace aims to restore savannas, grasslands and farms through Africa and slow the desertification process that would threaten communities. These are a handful of initiatives actively working toward environmental peace. There are others that target bodies of water and pollution, mountain ecosystems, islands and coasts.

Whenever faced with inevitable doom scrolling, people begin to lose faith in the potential to improve. By feeding into that feeling of hopelessness, it discredits what thousands of people are working for. 

Governments are taking steps to reduce single-use plastics and soon-to-be landfill material. Through efforts to ban disposables, progress comes out of promoting recycling and composting programs as well as a push to buy sustainably. 

We are making strides in promoting sustainable agriculture and food practices. Farmers can work to reduce or eliminate pesticide use by holistic means and reduce the reliance on fertilizers. By encouraging sustainable practices, people protect the foundation of all living things that are found in the soil microbiome, ensuring a healthy and sustainable food supply for future generations.

Companies are also actively investing in new forms of green technology and innovation to combat environmental challenges through the workspace. Waste management technologies play a big part in this effort. 

Groups are active in raising awareness and educating the public about environmental issues and the importance of protecting the planet. By using environmental education in schools, supporting environmental advocacy organizations and encouraging individuals to take action to protect the environment in their daily lives, it fosters a global community of people ready to take action.