People now need to protect the natural environment. Which of the following actions is the most useful for individuals to protect the environment in the daily life?
1. more cycling and walking, less car use
2. more recycling, less rubbish
3. more local organic food, less pesticides
For the benefits of both humans and the environment, organizations as well as individuals have always been involving in the practice of protecting the natural environment. Among various environmental protection movements, for individuals, encouraging more cycling, in my opinion, is the most helpful activity, compared with recycling and promoting organic foods.
Reclamation, considered as the treatment of waste materials to gain useful ones from collected rubbish, might undoubtedly save materials and help lower greenhouse gas emissions to some extent. Recyclable materials, such as paper or beverage bottles can conserve natural resources and save energy. For example, recycling one ton of paper might save approximately 17 trees. However, in comparison with producing the same product from raw materials, recycling is sometimes more difficult and expensive due to the restrictions in the complex procedures. Unlike recycling, motivating citizens to travel by bike or on foot is more feasible, since most of the cities are now bike friendly and it is easier for each person to protect the environment via this low-carbon lifestyle.
Furthermore, supporters of organic food groups claim that organic food productions are better for the environment than the conventional foods. They believe that organic foods help fight against global warming, because organically produced foods are most dispatched locally. In other words, carbon dioxide emissions, which are regarded as to be the main cause of global warming, will be reduced greatly, due to less transportation. This may be true, but we have to be faced with the fact that since organic farming is less distributing, it might not be able to satisfy the increasing demand with the population explosion. Meanwhile, due to the high cost of organic farming, it is sometimes difficult for some citizens to afford it. On the other hand, to encourage more cycling and walking seems more economical and effective when individuals are engaged in protecting natural environment.
Apart from the comparisons among cycling, recycling and planting organic foods, cycling and walking provide more advantages especially when comparing with the use of cars. According to the survey, the average car emits about 4 tons of carbon dioxide in a year, which contributes to most of greenhouse gas emission in many countries. In addition, motor vehicles are believed to be the main source of the smog, the main air pollution nowadays. By contrast, active transportation, such as walking and cycling, does not require fuel and will not cause air pollution, and it also frees up more room on the roads.
Ways to protect environment show their strengths in different aspects, while if we have to figure out the most effective practice for individuals to do so, I think less car use and more active transportation will be the most useful.
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