The natural Earth is made up of plants, animals, land, water, the atmosphere, and humans. Combined we form the planet’s ecosystem. This means that should there ever be a major biodiversity disaster, the wellbeing of humans could be at risk. For too long we have had the idea that the biodiversity that surrounds us responds to Earth’s physical changes rather than see that the existence of the Earth depends on biodiversity.

Presently we are consuming 25% more of natural resources than the planet can actually sustain. In detail people are using more water than necessary and deforesting at a rate at which nature cannot keep up. Additionally we are expelling more pollutants and toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, earth, and water, which are disturbing ecosystems that are essential to our own survival. If we continue to consume at this pace then by 2030, a second globe will be needed in order to satisfy our greedy appetites.

Devouring our resources like this has put a strain on species, habitats, and communities. A noteworthy amount of Earth’s biodiversity has already been lost.

While the United States is guilty for much of the ecological damage on our planet, other countries are catching up. According to environmental studies, India and China are on their way to matching up to the American consumption rate. For example, China currently releases the most greenhouse gases in the world.

Should we continue to consume natural resources the way we do today, oncoming generations can expect a future where food is more vulnerable to pests and disease and fresh water is in short supply. What needs to be done is, biodiversity must be protected and used sustainably.

So how can we help? Start off by buying organically, to reduce the amount of pesticides that kill wildlife, and purchase locally grown food to lower the pollution produced by means of transportation. Recycle anything you can – books, clothes, glass, plastic, etc. Use public transportation as often as possible in order to decrease carbon emissions. Additionally you can reach out to policy makers within the government and companies that abuse natural environments.