The 21st century is the period of the greatest discoveries and transformations of human civilization, but it also has the most complex and unexpected effects on life.
Until recently, the Earth's renewable natural resources were sufficient for the needs of humanity. Nowadays, due to population explosion and unprecedented development of all industries, the need for raw materials and energy for the production of goods has increased enormously, and the exploitation of land resources reveals intense, more obviously an ecological imbalance.
The environment as it is presented to us today is mostly a creation of man, but it can influence the evolution of human society in turn. The issue of environmental protection is of major importance among many other problems of mankind. Environmental degradation happens often in front of our eyes and it is due to human intervention in nature.
The human impact on the environment represents all the changes that the natural environment suffers of as a result of human activities. Between the man and the environment there is a constant exchange of matter, energy and information.
The forms of human impact on the environment are: massive deforestation; desertification; soil erosion; pollution; air pollution; the destruction of plant and animal species; hunting and fishing; grazing, etc. Humans have brought a lot of damage to ecosystems by over-exploitation of biological resources. The human intervention in the biosphere leads to species impoverishment and disturbance of the natural balance.
The deforestation has contributed to soil degradation, climate aridity increase, increasing wind speed and the occurrence of floods. Forests are the determining factor for maintaining ecological, climatic and hydrological balance, having a regeneration capacity of 3-5 times greater than any natural ecosystem.
The overexploitation of terrestrial fauna was done through hunting, fishing, causing ecological imbalances, having long term effects on flora and fauna. The biological pollution of water and food is produced directly by the discharge of sewage and industrial waste into watercourses.
The rapid growth of cities has led to the development of the industry; the development of industry in major cities entailed population migration from village to city. Pollution increases with the increase of population number, increasing human needs and developing new technologies.
Chemicals used in industry and agriculture are the most widespread and dangerous forms of pollution. Pollutants such as pesticides and heavy metals are generally non-biodegradable or readily biodegradable therefore persist for a long time in the ecosystem.
In this context, the authorities do their best to reduce the pollution. After London, Stockholm and Milano, Paris becomes the fourth largest city that will introduce the Low-Emission Zone (LEZ) project. The Mayor of Paris wants to implement a project that would ban the circulation of cars older than 17 years, to reduce pollution in the city. In the last years, the urban transportation system in Paris has changed dramatically. Renting bikes through the Vélib project has already reached 250,000 loyal customers: 40% of the population of Paris became owners of bicycles. Currently, only 7% of people drive every day by car. But these changes were not made voluntarily, since places and car parks were reduced to 75 acres, in favor of building bicycle lanes and public transport.
As the danger is real, we need to be aware of the need for protecting our environment. We need to choose by our free will the friendly environment ways of doing things.
The house is the easiest place to start being environmentally friendly, and kids should learn how to do that. There are hundreds of easy solutions placed in your home, all to reduce power consumption, both in terms of cost and in terms of environmental preservation. For example, for centuries, people have relied on towels for cleaning around the house. Then the paper napkins appeared which led to landfills. There is no need to reduce the number of forests already threatened. Why not use washable napkins and cloth towels to help the environment? There are so many housework and household goods that can be quickly converted into organic things, just by choosing the right products to clean with. You can use detergent for carpets, soap, fertilizer plants, shower gel, shampoo and more, all organic.
However, the problem is that, in the absence of contact with nature, nobody will be able to understand and know the existing relations between the nature and the individual.
In this context, the school has the role of educating the young generation in the spirit of the environment; educators should teach children to understand and love nature.
Children should be taught to observe nature, to love the earth and to participate directly, within their possibilities, in ecological activities. We have to educate our children since preschool to protect the natural environment they live in, to give them the opportunity to contribute to the planting and care of trees, green spaces, flowers blooming and beautifies where they live, through actions practical to protect vegetation.
All in all, there are many ways in which we can save our planet. As the need for ecology grows with every passing day, people must become aware of the necessity to actively participate in any ecological activity, now matter how insignificant it seems because, done at a global scale, it can make the difference.