The biggest things we can do is understand more about how our environment works and then design our lives to function with it as oppose to against it. There’s a whole subject about doing this called permaculture. Here’s an example of something you’d learn from permaculture are:
People in the northern hemisphere are going to get more sun from the south. So let’s you’re going to build a house. You’d want to design and construct it so as much of it is facing the southside as possible. You’d want lots of windows here as well. That way your house can absorb more heat from the sun and you’ll have more natural light so you can reduce your use of other resources in heating and electricity.
Other ideas: Grow food closer to home. Turn your backyard or frontyard into a biointensive garden. Or form a community garden with neighbors. Industrial farming relies on lots of chemicals and petroleum products for production and transportation.
Find ways to reduce material items in your life. When something wears out try to fix it instead of throwing it out and buying something new. When you go shopping, bring your own non-disposable bags rather than getting plastic or paper ones at the store. Compost organic waste or if you don’t have room to compost see if there is a community compost or petition your municipal government to start one. Start a community share program like this one in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland, OR: http://sellwoodpdx.com/sherrett/
americalibre’s suggestions are great ways to prevent ecosystem disruption. I agree that it’s very important to become educated about the ways in which our environment works.
Planting native plants rather than non-native plants is another suggestion.
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Going off of americalibre idea about understanding and functioning with nature, ecosystems should be integrated into the international economic system. Ecological economics gives natural capital a valuation in our modern economic system, which makes destroying ecosystems detrimental to world markets.
When the environment is factored into economic decisions, policymakers must take an inherent interest in intergenerational equity, irrevokable changes to the environment, long-term outcomes of economic decisions, and sustainable developement in order to preserve natural capital while optimimizing social and economic benefits.
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