Student Action Plan
Ecological integrity also referred to as Ecological health or ecological damage encompasses the signs of an ecosystem’s awaiting loss of holding capacity, its ability to perform nature’s roles, or pending ecocide, due to cumulative causes such as pollution. To have a clear picture of ecological integrity we need to understand what nature and the environment. Nature can be generally regarded as equal to the natural world, physical world, or material world, and it can be compared to the intrinsic characteristics that plants, animals, and other features of the world develop of their own accord. Environment refers to the surrounding of an object.
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Therefore, the natural environment composes of all living and non-living things that occur naturally on Earth. It encompasses all the physical, biological factors, and chemical interactions that affect an organism and its surroundings. Human activities have led to several environmental changes, which encourage the growth of some species, ecosystems, and ecological processes, whereas causing severe damage to others. Nevertheless, “the challenge for the concept of ecological integrity is to provide a means of distinguishing between responses that represent improvements in the quality of ecosystems, and those that are related to degradations” (Anon 2252).
In this respect, the mission statement will be to enhance a sustainable natural environment through proper use of natural resources by reducing personal environmental degradation and practicing healthy environmental activities, and encouraging the general population to conserve the natural environment.
At home, I try to ensure the proper use of natural resources for sustainability. Generally, I use the resources available in various ways. First, I always ensure there is no water wastage by ensuring all taps are closed after use. Secondly, I always use natural gas for cooking instead of wood. After cooking some food is left after serving; to preserve it for future consumption I refrigerate it and heat it for warming using a microwave.
To save on power, I Switch off lights and electrical appliances when not in use and mostly buy appliances that are energy-saving and have good control systems. Also, during sunny days, I enjoy sunbathing and using less or no lighting in the home. When going shopping, I use durable and reusable shopping bags, as well as using materials such as out-of-date newspapers and magazines for wrapping items or giving them to recycling companies. Also, I Collect plastics and scrap metals that are later resold. Moreover, I always ensure that the furniture and other wood items in the house are well polished, preserved, and are properly used.
Personal daily water use includes activities such as cleaning, cooking, bathing, and drinking. For leisure at home, I have a rabbit-rearing project and an organic garden. Also, I always keep a check to ensure family vehicles are well serviced and maintained in good working conditions and always ensure that the home and its compound are clean by keeping the refuse in dustbins, maintaining lawns, and dusting/cleaning the floors.
Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion and contamination of resources such as air, water, and soil, which leads to the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. By personal use of resources at home, I contribute to the environment in various ways such as: firstly, conserving water through proper use of tapped water, thus eliminating chances of wastage, and in the process increasing water access in the neighborhoods (Gilbreath 5). Secondly, I live in a house with super windows, which is well insulated to reduce heating and cooling needs, thus conserving energy.
Indeed, sunlight makes the living space ambient, conserves energy, and improves productivity (Stein 171). Also, I take organic foods, which are generally healthier, sustainable, and save the cost of buying some of the foodstuffs at home (Mayer 4). Moreover, rabbit rearing provides manure for the organic garden, in addition to being a consumer for some kitchen leftovers or refuse as food. These rabbits also provide meat sometimes, as well as providing room for the coexistence of microorganisms, thus saving alternative sources of these resources. Through proper care and use of furniture, there is increased durability, thus saving the resources that could have been used to make furniture to replace the damaged ones.
By encouraging the reuse and recycling of materials, there is a reduced purpose to grow and extract raw materials, thus saving on energy used to produce the product or alternate product, as well as fuels used to distribute them (Gilbreath 5). Ensuring a clean home and personal environment through bathing and grooming greatly reduce disease infection, thereby ensuring a safer environment health-wise. Moreover, continued reliance on electrical gadgets for the sustenance of life contributes to their wastage when written off and they pollute soil due to their non-biodegradable nature, while coolants found in them are mostly chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are greenhouse effect gases (Climate change Information Resources Para. 8).
There are various social issues regarding the personal use of natural resources including the effect of controlling oil prices, eradication of poverty, controlling carbon release to the atmosphere, and conserving the ecosystem through discouraging and reducing deforestation and soil erosion. In my use of natural resources, I am very conscious of the above-mentioned social issues; thus, I am very active in activities that are vital such as tree planting programs, debates, and awareness promotion activities.
To ensure the sustainability of goals, I plan to engage in long-term processes that enhance healthy ecosystems and environments to create a habitable place for both humans and other living creatures. This is achievable through an integrated learning and leadership process that can empower people in tackling ecological challenges and improving the natural environment. This is more of a life commitment by having a home that uses natural resources well, with low wastages, maintaining a better and safe environment for the family.
Anon. Ecological Integrity – Environmental Stress Is A Challenge To Ecological Integrity, Components Of Ecological Integrity, Indicators of Ecological Integrity. N.d. Web.
“Climate change Information Resources: What causes global climate change?” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2005. Web.
Gilbreath, Anthony. The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home. NY: Caelus Consulting. 2010. Web.
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Mcyer, Scotts. Organic Gardening, Vol. 54, No. 4. NY: Inc: Rodale. 2007. Web.
Stein, Matthew. When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing. 2008. Web.