The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinions from writers who share our goal to increase the conversation about how state policies impact the daily lives of Kansasans. Viniece Jennings, an assistant professor at Agnes Scott College focuses on the intersection of green space, health, social justice, and poverty.
Many people think of New Years resolutions as ways to improve their lives for next year. What if those resolutions were expanded to include goals that benefit our communities, society, and the planet?
This might not be a common approach, but it can open up your horizons and show you how you can help others.
Here are fourPopular New Years ResolutionsWith a twist to improve your relationship with nature in 2022, and beyond.
Take more care to consider how your actions may impact the environment
Each of us has anEnvironment ethicThis is how we view, manage, and ultimately relate to nature. This relationship can be improved in many ways by balancing the scales between us and nature on how much we give or take. Our addictions can be a problem.One-use plasticsThey can end up in landfills.fossil fuelsAlthough we are warming the planet, a bad relationship with nature isn’t good for the Earth or us.
We can all take greater responsibility for how we contribute to environmental problems in 2022. We can also encourage governments, businesses, and other organizations to make it easier to protect the environment for people with different socioeconomic backgrounds. This includes making recycled goods more affordable and making public transportation reliable and accessible.
Check out the U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyResourcesThese are some of the easiest ways to reduce waste at your home, work, community, and holidays. The website offers tips such as turning off or unplugging lights throughout the day, reusing packaging material, and using online billing instead of paper mail.
Reduce the social injustice that harms the environment.
ARecent studiesRedlining and residential segregation lead to inequal access to nature, excessive pollution, and biodiversity loss. These practicesTaken in Highways– Industries that have a negative impact on the environment in marginalized communities. They also left communities without enough parks.Cooling treesIn summer, you can help the planet.
Perpetuating social problems like systemic racismInequitable resource allocationIt is harmful to the environment, marginalized persons and society as a whole.
You can help turn this around by speaking out in your local community. Join groups that work to protect the environment and promote social justice. Call your elected officials in your state, city, and congressional offices to urge them to act. Refer to theGreen 2.0 reportThis section focuses on making diversity initiatives successful. It provides concrete ways you can implement this at work.
Perpetuating social ills such as systemic racism or inequitable resource allocation is harmful to the environment, marginalized persons, and society as a whole.
Learn about nature and how you can reduce harm to the environment.
Research shows that clean air, water, and soil are essential for our survival. However, many people lack these basic necessities.Environmental and health literacyTo learn how to protect yourself.
Learn more about your impact on the environment in 2022. Read more to learn how you can preserve the integrity and beauty of your local natural resources. Find out how you can keep up to date with local land-use decisions that affect the environment and your community.
You can also help local educators and encourage them bring the environment into the classroom. Many other subjects are affected by environmental issues, including history and health.This websiteThis includes a framework for educators to help students improve their environmental literacy.
Staying connectedWith mediaIt can be a great way to increase awareness by having researchers discuss the latest research. You might also consider incorporating environmental knowledge and facts into your team-building and game night activities.
Spend more time with your family and friends in the outdoors
Studies have shown that spending time outdoors, including in urban green spaces can improve your relationship to nature and with others.
Nature can extend timesocial cohesion. Many people found the outdoors to be a great place to relax and reduce stress during the pandemic. Spending more time outdoors can increase social interaction that benefits health.buffer emotional distressEncourage and encourage the use of these spaces to help preserve them for the future.
These are the detailsSome toolsThese best practices will help you improve parks and recreation close to your home. These are also ways to make your park and recreation area more attractive.outdoor environmentsFamilies in diverse communities will be more inclusive
We can all think about how we relate to nature and find ways to protect it. This will help us be better stewards on the planet.
This opinion article first appeared in The Conversation.
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