Protecting the environment is fundamental today. We need to think about ourselves and the needs of future generations. For the last 20 years, Europe has understood that it is living beyond its real possibilities and that our way of life is testing the planet. We consume more and more natural resources and endanger environmental systems (water, soil and air). It cannot go on indefinitely, especially as the world's population continues to grow.
If we do not change our behavior now, our future will be less secure and more and more people will fight for dwindling natural resources.
There are many obstacles that must be overcome until we can move to rational consumption. We will have to change the way we consume natural resources. In industrialized countries, people live comfortably, but large amounts of energy and raw materials are used. A lot of waste is also produced here. In order to reach a rational consumption, we will have to change the non-rational style of consumption. Rational development seems like an overwhelming problem, but it is. But, at school or at home, we all need to contribute to solving it, not only because it is right, but also because it is in our long-term interest. By reducing the amount of waste, reusing and recycling everyday objects and respecting the ecological norms when we go shopping, we have the opportunity to contribute to a radical change.
· Do you want a tea? Then use only as much water as you need, does not fill the kettle to the top.
· Flying causes the fastest increase in CO2 emissions. How about spending your holiday in your home country or discovering another part of Europe by train?
· Cars produce 10% of CO2 emissions in the EU. Why not go by public transport? Cycling or walking, is much healthier and cheaper options.
· If you intend to buy a new refrigerator, washing machine or other household appliance, check the energy efficiency label, mandatory in Europe, which shows whether they are part of the "A" efficiency category. Class "A" shows high energy efficiency.
· Do not leave the TV, electronics and computer on standby - with the red light on. The TV uses 45% of the required power in standby mode. If all Europeans avoided this, then enough energy could be saved to cover the energy needs of a country the size of Belgium.
· Do not unplug the mobile phone charger after charging the battery. If you do this, you lose 95% of your energy - in fact only 5% is needed to charge your phone.
· Save hot water by taking a shower instead of a bath. Four times less water is used for the shower.
· Turn off the lights when you leave home and when you don't need them. Apartment lighting accounts for 30% of EU electricity consumption, so if we all saved electricity, our contribution would be very high. It would also save money - if you turn off five
· light bulbs when you don't need them, you can save 60 euros a year.
· Buy energy-saving light bulbs. They cost more than regular light bulbs, but they make all the money, because they have a longer service life and consume five times less energy.
· Don't overdo it with heating your home. Reducing the temperature by just 1 ° C can reduce your family's energy bill by up to 7%.
· If you are going to buy a new car, buy a small model with low fuel consumption. All new cars have a label that says the amount of CO2 emitted into the air.
· Do not refrigerate food when it is hot or warm; let it cool first.
· Look for products with the European eco-label - a small flower. It shows that these products are environmentally friendly and protect the environment more than those without a label.
· When ventilating the house, so that you do not have to overuse the heating / cooling systems afterwards, leave the window open for only afew minutes.
We need energy to warm up, to eat, to travel remotely and to produce consumer goods. But energy sources that cannot be easily regenerated are consumed at a rapid rate.
Insulating the house is of real use. The thermal protection mounted on the hot water tank and the curtains drawn during the night are a start. Double-glazed windows reduce heat loss by up to 20%.
Water is one of the most precious natural resources. We can't live without it, but we act as if we deserve it. Tap water is safe to drink almost everywhere in Europe, but before it can be sent through pipes, it must be treated. This is an expensive but necessary process, as water can be contaminated with fertilizers, pesticides, industrial chemicals or germs from human or animal waste. The main pollutants are fertilizers and pesticides. Upon contact with water, they are transported to rivers and streams and from there to the sea. Reducing pollution is extremely important, not only for the conservation of drinking water reserves, but also for the protection of animals living in rivers, lakes and seas.
Clean air is essential for our health. Studies show that air pollution, caused by industrial activities and road traffic has a significant impact on the health of the population. Polluted air is the cause of many types of allergies and serious respiratory problems, such as asthma.
Effects of air pollution:
Poor health, from bronchitis to asthma and even premature death.
Acidification - increasing the pH of the soil, affecting forests, rivers, lakes and historic buildings.
Eutrophication - excessive growth of algae in lakes and rivers, which affects the life of flora and fauna.
Air pollution is caused by industry, transportation, energy systems, agriculture, but also by each of us. Among the most dangerous pollutants are noxious gases and aerosols - dust or soot particles emitted by cars with diesel engines, burnt oils or solvents used in paints. They affect our lungs. Exceeding certain thresholds of tropospheric ozone, in combination with other pollutants, affects forests, crops and animals. Air pollution is a very serious problem, and you can help solve it if you take certain measures with a positive impact.