By Treehuggers Bracelets, October 20th, 2020
If protecting our survival as a species is important to you... You should really stick around and read until the end.
Because I’m going to share with you some new information and hopefully get you to open your eyes and wake up from your deep sleep.
There is a horrible truth that we as humans need to come to terms with. And the sooner we do so, the better.
It wasn't that long ago that I too felt frustrated by it all.
Tired of watching the same images on the news.
Tired of hearing about yet another animal suffering, or another forest being cut down.
Tired of that sickening feeling of helplessness. Like there was nothing I could do to help.
I wanted to scream at anyone and everyone...
Wake-up! Can't you see what we are doing?
I wanted a way to make a difference. To change things.
And I wanted to know for sure that I'm doing my part to make our world a little bit better. That I'm contributing, not just taking from this place that has truly become OUR planet, "the planet of the humans".
I wanted to do more... And I wanted to inspire others to join in so together we can make a real impact.
Trouble is... where do you start?
What is the most common bird on Earth?
Can't be Flamingos...
Nope, all wrong. The king of birds, at least in terms of population is... The common household chicken!
In the past 50 years, wild animal populations have halved, while domestic bird and livestock populations have skyrocketed.
In fact, 70% of all birds on Earth are now domesticated, most are chickens. 60% of the animals we raise are meant for us to eat.
The rest - from mice to whales, all wild animals, make up just 4% of our planet's animal beings.
Domestic farm animals require vast areas of land to graze and grow, making half of the fertile land on the planet today - farmland.
To make way for farmland, humans cut down up to 15 billion trees per year!
But what does my pasta have anything to do with it?
Well, lets have a look at things to come...
By the 2030s
Continued deforestation has degraded woodlands and rainforests to a point where they can no longer produce enough moisture, transforming into a dry savanna. This also alters rain patterns throughout the globe, causing floods and droughts, making farming in many places of the globe impossible and causing the start of a worldwide famine.
The Arctic will start experiencing ice-free summers. Without the white ice-caps, less of the sun's energy will be reflected back out to space. This accelerates global warming further.
By the 2050s
The lack of breathing forests and the huge amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continue to heat the oceans. Creating acidic environments for marine life. The fish population crashes, effecting millions of people who rely on the ocean for their livelihoods.
The global food crisis intensifies as the oceans can't provide us with fish any longer.
By the 2080s
As even more farmland replaces forests, soils become exhausted and overused, unable to grow healthy crops. Global food production goes deeper into a crisis as millions are left hungry. The weather becomes ever more unpredictable.
By the 2100s
The planet, barren of forestland, is 4 degrees Celsius warmer, rendering large parts of the Earth uninhabitable and leaving millions of people homeless. 90% of all species we know today have disappeared. As people, we fight for access to clean water, shelter and food.
A "blueprint" of the 6th mass extinction in our planet's history. A chain reaction, starting right now with the loss of our forests.
Sounds terrible doesn't it?
And the problem is...
What I'm about to say is painful...
I wish I didn't have to say it.
But you need to hear it. You must hear it and know the truth.
We can no longer stand to the side as our planet is being taken apart, one piece at a time.
We can't tell our children and grandchildren that "we didn't know".
The fact is, human beings are directly responsible for the current climate crisis, and if we don't act now... We're in trouble.
In the past 50 years we have produced more carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases, than in the previous 10,000 years.
We've exploited almost 70% of our planet's natural landscape, cutting down forests to grow crops. Hunting animals for profit. Making a living off of destroying the planet.
But this "party" has got to end.
As Sir David Attenborough mentions in a recent film.
"Nature has a finite number, a limited amount of trees in the forest, a limited amount of fish in the sea, a limited amount of abuse our environment can take... And if there is a finite amount of anything, then by definition it is not sustainable. And can not be relied upon".
The real cause of this destruction is shockingly simple.
The world we live in today, you, me, and everyone we know - is full of more luxuries, more technology, more convenience than ever before.
It doesn't even come close.
Our middle class, most people alive today, live a better life than the kings and queens of old.
We have running water. Electricity. Access to the internet. Sewer infrastructure. Easily accessible food. Medical care. And the list goes on.
The terrible truth is that we have exhausted our natural world. We've reached a point where our environment can not sustain us any longer as a species.
We are killing our own habitat. And we are doing it knowingly.
The lives we lead are creating more toxic carbon waste than any humans that have ever lived before us.
The average American alive today, for example, creates 20 TONS of carbon dioxide every year.
4-8 acres of trees are cut down as a direct result.
Every single second, an entire football field of forest is destroyed.
It's hard to grasp how FAST this really is without a visual reference in front of you...
So here is a picture of a deforested area the size of one football field, for reference.
By the time it took you to read this sentence, most of the green in this image has vanished.
Trees are directly tied to carbon sequestration (taking carbon out of our atmosphere and locking it in), and so, when our trees go, a massive chain reaction of events follows.
So why are we cutting them down?
Destroying the environment is BIG BUSINESS.
We still rely on gas and coal power plants to provide us with electricity.
Yes, there is progress with solar and wind technologies, but these take up a minuscule part of our energy production.
Over 8 billion tons of coal and 36 billion barrels of oil are burned every year. And the fossil fuels industry is not about to just roll over and stop.
But what about other industries, is it really all that bad?
Take cosmetics, for example?
146 million tons of plastic waste is created by the cosmetics industry, per year. That's 120 billion individual units of packaging, from shampoo bottles to lip-gloss.
The vast majority of these empty containers lay for centuries in our landfills, releasing harmful pollutants into the air, soil and water. Polluting for decades. In some cases they may also ingested by wild animals.
How about fashion?
That shirt you bought once and never wore?
84% of all clothing manufactured on Earth will end up in landfills and incineration plants. Polluting our skies.
But that's not the best part... With synthetic materials dominating the fashion industry, every washing cycle releases millions of microscopic plastic particles. The water from our washing machines end up in either our ground water or rivers and oceans, the plastic breaking down in the water, polluting it further.
Would you like a soda?
Coca-cola is the world's largest single plastic polluter. Pumping out 200,000 plastic bottles per minute! Most of which will never see a recycling plant. Doomed to decompose over thousands of years, releasing chemicals into the air and soil.
Think about it the next time you get an ice cold refreshment out of your fridge.
The terrible truth is that most of what we do on a day to day basis is killing the planet. There is almost no action we take in our day to day lives that doesn't hurt the environment.
And we have to change that! Now!
It might be easy to point a blaming finger at large industries for our climate crisis.
We often imagine huge corporation bosses scheming away, destroying our planet for a quick profit, elitist societies that live lavishly while the rest of us suffer.
But that wouldn't be the whole story.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not here to defend massive corporations or the mega-rich. What they are doing is absolutely sickening.
But we have to realize that most of us, are playing along to the same tune, day in and day out.
We are producing more CO2 and more waste than ever before.
If you are reading this article, most chances are that you live in an industrialized country... Meaning you automatically have a larger negative effect on the environment.
This also means that you have a bigger responsibility to play a part in fixing this problem.
We must come to terms with the fact that we are all responsible on some level for contributing to this crisis.
We are destroying the planet and have now reached a point where our destruction is threatening us as a species.
We are endangered! And we need to take action!
We have to understand that we all play a part. We are all responsible. And that if we will be smart enough to only change a few small things, we can make a huge difference.
Close the light when you leave a room, don't leave it on. You'll save countless hours of electricity, reducing your carbon output.
Eat less meat (even just one day a week). Growing livestock takes up huge amounts of water and power, again leading to high CO2 levels.
Leave your car at home one day of the week.
Buy eco-friendly products instead of ones that cause harm.
Every little thing you do, matters. Change starts with us, and we need to change fast!
First and foremost, and probably the easiest thing we can do, is reduce our personal carbon footprint.
Mainly by planting trees.
We inhabit a small planet, breathe the same air, and share our environment with all life-forms. Our fragile blue dot in space relies on so many self-sustaining life support systems, that if one breaks, the rest soon follow.
Cause and effect. Action and reaction.
When one species disappears, five others are placed at risk as a result.
It would be presumptuous of us, maybe even foolish, to think that we can be directly responsible for the loss of thousands of species and not be effected ourselves.
The very base of our eco-system is dependent on healthy trees and forests. Trees provide habitats for countless other species. And they keep the atmosphere safe for all of us.
Forests are the planet’s biggest ally in locking away carbon. Trapping it inside their leaves and trunks.
Keeping forests healthy and resilient by increasing their bio-diversity, will only make them better at absorbing more carbon, cleaning the air and ensuring nature's balance.
A good example of this can be seen in Costa Rica.
A century ago, more than three-quarters of the nation was covered with forest. By the 1980s, thanks to rampant deforestation, this was reduced to only one quarter. With raising CO2 levels and the beginning of an air pollution problem, the government intervened, giving grants to landowners to replant native trees. Thanks to this initiative, forests now cover half of Costa Rica once more.
CO2 levels are down and the air is cleaner.
U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres.
This quote by U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres. Gives us a lot of hope.
But hope alone is not enough. We have to follow through with something more.
There is one word we need to live by, one word that can make a difference in the lives of almost 8 billion people.
We have to take action.
Not tomorrow. Not next week.
We need to act now.
I didn't write this article to tell you how desperate the situation is.
My guess is you already knew that.
If you are reading this article, you probably know most of it by now. You might already care. But what about other people?
When you look around you, at your friends, your loved ones... Are they doing enough? Are they even aware of what is going on? Do they know that we are at risk? And more importantly, do they know they can make a difference?
YOU now have the ability... never before possible... to join the solution. And to inspire others to do the same.
Because if you are not part of the solution, sadly you are just leaving your mess to be undone by someone else who is actually willing to act.
If you have made it this far, please take a second to feel good about yourself.
At least you are aware of the issues we are up against.
The trouble is... Most people will never take action.
Most people will continue to bury their heads in the sand and hope that "someone" does something "about it".
They'll agree with you that things are bad and that "something has to be done". But then go on about their lives as if nothing is happening.
It's those people who we need to awake!
It's those people who need to follow your lead and act now to save our planet, and in the process, save ourselves!
With over 70,000 people already spreading this message of awakening and planting trees, our Treehuggers are making a huge positive impact.
We began this journey just over a year ago and have since been able to get other people to wake up to the disasters happening all around us.
Every day, more and more people are getting involved, realizing it's not only "nature" that we need to protect, it's our own place in it.
If we are to have a fighting chance... We need to rise up as a people and create change.
By wearing our Treehuggers Habitat Restoration Bracelet, you contribute directly to tree planting initiatives across America.
You are taking a step to offset your carbon footprint.
You are taking part in a movement for change.
And apart from planting one tree with every bracelet purchased, you carry the message of hope and change.
Get your bracelet now and spread the word, so that others may start to believe in their ability to create change. So that others may join as well. So that others may wake-up and start making a difference.
We partner with amazing planting organizations such as American Forests who plant our trees on protected land only.
Native species alone are chosen, in meticulous fashion, to suit each specific eco-system. Making it more resilient and hospitable for wildlife, and able to absorb more CO2.
Our eco-friendly, handmade, bracelets mark your commitment to save our species and our planet. A token, a symbol of change.
Connecting people in the fight against climate change, and against our own destruction. Planting more trees in the world, creating a better tomorrow.
You can get one (or more) of our bracelets right now and join the Treehuggers movement today.
Start making a difference in the race to save our species.
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