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Habits to Protect the Environment : Vegetarianism and the Zero-Waste Movement
  • By Seo Seong-il, reporter
  • 승인 2020.04.23 14:53
  • 호수 275
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▲ Many vegetables(https://moneysavetip.tistory.com/141)
▲ Zero-Waste Movement logo(https://thepicker.net/29/?q=YToxOntzOjEyOiJrZXl3b3JkX3R5cGUiO3M6MzoiYWxsIjt9&bmode=view&idx=483226&t=board)

COVID-19 has restricted many people from regular jobs and hobbies. As a result, global carbon dioxide emissions have been significantly reduced. Most notably, China's carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by 25% Spain and Italy’s emissions have significantly decreased as well. Wild animals have come back to their habitats, and ecosystems are also recovering. After seeing these positive environmental changes, people are discussing environmental issues again. What efforts should humans make to restore the Earth's environment?

Having a vegetarian diet can play an important part in protecting the environment because eating meat comes with consequences. For example, livestock farms emit more green-house gases than automobiles and other forms of transportation. The methane gas emitted by livestock is responsible for about 18% of total greenhouse gases, compared to 13% of methane gas emitted by cars. Methane gas generates 21 times more greenhouse effects than carbon dioxide. Of the total 3.5 billion ruminants on Earth 1.5 billion are cows. The gas of cow farts and burps creates 100 million tons a year. In addition to the greenhouse gases emitted by livestock, raising animals for meat can lead to the destruction of forests and cause food and water shortages. To produce one serving of beef, farmers need to feed 22 servings of grain to a cow. Also, livestock need more land per kilogram than growing grains of the same weight. If Americans reduced their beef consumption by just 10 percent, global hunger problems could be solved. A hectare can produce one serving of beef per year. However, if potatoes or rice are grown on a hectare, more than 20 people would be provided with enough food for a year.

Zero-Waste is a movement that minimizes the use of disposable products and plastic products. There are many different kinds of plastic, but it is difficult for plastic to biodegrade. The amount of plastic waste is increasing every year. To reduce plastic waste, countries around the world are enforcing laws to ban the use of plastic products. But that's not enough. In addition to legal restrictions, individuals can also try and reduce their own plastic waste. The zero-waste movement offers a number of alternatives to live a less wasteful lifestyle. The movement suggests to avoid using things in plastic packaging, not as using as possible vinyl, using shopping baskets instead of disposable bags, carrying personal water bottles instead of plastic water bottles, and using menstrual cups or cotton sanitary pads instead of disposable sanitary pads. In addition, many companies are joining the eco-friendly movement. Two notable companies are "The Picker" and "Starbucks." The Picker is a lifestyle shop where people can buy ingredients and lifestyle products without packaging. The Picker's products are not packaged. The store has a system where consumers put products in shopping baskets or storage containers that they brought themselves. The company works with eco-friendly companies in the distribution process, and some products are directly produced by The Picker. Next, Starbucks joined the zero-waste campaign by replacing plastic straws with paper straws. After the introduction of paper straws, Korean Starbucks straw use was halved

There are so many other ways to protect the environment. However, if individuals do not try to be eco-friendly, the environment will suffer. Individual efforts can change the future of the Earth. Why not consider eating less meat and buying less plastic products today?

By Seo Seong-il, reporter  qlvmfl99@naver.com

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