Sustainable living is defined as the medium which understands the impact that lifestyle choices have on the environment and incorporates practices to boost the health of our planet.
Did you know by 2050, our world will reach a whopping 10 billion population which will exponentially increase the demand for food, travel, housing facilities, fashion, and other basic requirements? In a world that has been already stretched thin for its resources, increased demand will put our planet at greater risk.
The UN Environment Program recently developed Sustainable Development Goals that highlighted the importance of sustainability and the preservation of Mother Earth to its citizens. Though the development goals focus on incorporating eco-friendly lifestyle practices, it is pertinent that we understand the importance of animals in the sustenance of our planet and they have a direct impact on our sustainable living.
Curious to understand how animals lead to sustainable living and what type of practices you should include, then stick to the end of the article as we elaborate more.
How do animals play a crucial role in the environment?
It is a no-brainer to understand that animals play a humongous role in maintaining a healthy environment. The need and importance of animals are felt across various functions, including climate control, agricultural production, pollination, reforestation, and pest control, among others.
You will be surprised to learn that while some animals are used as natural pesticides, others have proved to be of extreme importance to scientists for research purposes and even to combat climate change.
On the other hand, small mammals like beavers have proved their efficiency in combating climate change. Beavers have a tendency to alter landscapes which have often created a great impact on the environment. The creation of beaver dams has helped in keeping the soil moist and vegetation alive even in the worst scenarios of draughts. These dams act as a reservoir for other animals and also help in preventing wildfires.
Fruit-eating animals also known as frugivores are known to distribute fertile seeds in their feces and help in restoring degraded forests. Animals eat a wide variety of foods and when they excrete, full seeds are often inserted into the ground, resulting in new trees and vegetation. Experts have observed that seeds dispersed by Orangutans result in better chances of germination in Indonesian forests.
Then there are animals like butterflies, birds, and squirrels that act as effective agents in pollination. And if we are talking about natural pollinators, then we have to talk about bees, one of the most powerful pollinators of nature. Bees play a crucial role in food chains. They support the pollination of a variety of plant species and also play an important role in agriculture. In fact, one-third of the food we eat is because of the pollination done by the bees.
Here is a small video regarding our little friends.
From animals that live above the ground to creepy characters that live underneath, one of which is Earthworms. These worms play an important role in maintaining soil health by providing aeration, improving nutrient content in the soil, and augmenting plant growth.
Moving to the aquatic ecosystem, sharks, being the apex predator, play an important role in maintaining a balance between the species. It also plays a crucial role in disease mitigation by preventing the spread of disease among marine life. And did you know fish feces can lock carbon for 600 years? It works as the most efficient mechanism for long-term carbon storage.
Animals like Narwhals, seals, and sea lions have proved to be valuable for scientists to understand the impact of climate change on the fauna of our planet.
How can we save animals to promote sustainability?
Unfortunately, factors like climate change, agriculture misuse, pesticides, habitat loss, overfishing & hunting, and pollution have already made more than 30,000 species’ lives endangered. This can be devastating to our Planet, as the loss of just one species can cause irreparable damage and produce a ripple effect on the entire ecosystem.
It is time that instead of propagating “what should be done”, some target actions are carried forward and incorporated into our lives.
To work towards a sustainable future, some habits that can be tweaked into daily lifestyle are mentioned down below
- Vehicles are one of the leading causes of pollution contributing to global warming. You can skip personal vehicle usage and instead opt for sustainable alternatives like cycling or using public transport. Using cars like electric or hybrid cars can prove beneficial as well since it produces fewer gas emissions and is eco-friendly.
- We cannot neglect the harm that plastics produce on the environment. Switching to eco-friendly alternatives can create a big impact.
- You can move towards sustainable fashion and eating habits. Recycling clothes, avoiding clothes made from animal products and regulating meat consumption can help in solidifying the dream of a sustainable future in the long run.
- You can donate to verified animal conservation organizations to aid in saving endangered species. A little contribution from your side can help tremendously
Every fauna species is important for maintaining a healthy environment. The loss of one species can trigger the collapse of the ecosystem. It causes irreparable ecological damage and endangers the lives of other dependent species. Therefore, incorporating these little lifestyle habits can help in combating the damage caused and boost the sustenance of our planet.
If you want to know, why forests are important, you can read here.