如果你觉得你用环保灯泡替换你的白炽灯泡并堆肥你的厨房垃圾，对环境做得不够，也许你已经准备好对环境管理做出更深的承诺了。其中一些策略可能看起来有些激进，但它们是您可以采取的最有价值的行动之一，可以保护和保护地球环境。行星地球是一个封闭的系统，资源有限 – 只有这么多的淡水和清新的空气，只有这么多英亩的土地用于种植食物。随着世界人口的增长，我们的资源必须扩展到为越来越多的人服务。在某些时候，这将不再可能。一些科学家认为我们已经超过了这一点。在许多发展中国家，大家庭可以成为生存的问题。父母通常会有尽可能多的孩子，以确保有些孩子能够生活在农业或其他工作中，并在父母年老时照顾父母。对于像这样的文化中的人来说，只有在贫困，饥饿，卫生条件差和疾病自由等其他严重问题得到充分解决之后才能降低出生率。
If you feel you’re not doing enough for the environment by replacing your incandescent light bulbs with LED lights and composting your kitchen scraps, maybe you’re ready to make a deeper commitment to environmental stewardship. Some of these strategies may seem a little radical, but they are among the most valuable actions you can take to protect and preserve Earth’s environment. Planet Earth is a closed system with limited resources—only so much fresh water and clean air, only so many acres of land for growing food. As the world population grows, our resources must stretch to serve more and more people. At some point, that will no longer be possible. Some scientists believe we have already passed that point. In many developing countries, large families can be a matter of survival. Parents often have as many children as possible to ensure that some will live to help with farming or other work and to care for the parents when they are old. For people in cultures like these, lower birth rates will only come after other serious issues such as poverty, hunger, poor sanitation and freedom from disease have been adequately addressed.
Water covers more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, but most of that is salt water. Freshwater supplies are much more limited, and today a third of the world’s people lack access to clean drinking water. According to the United Nations, 95 percent of the cities worldwide still dump raw sewage into their water supplies. Not surprisingly, 80 percent of all illnesses in developing countries can be linked to unsanitary water. Eating locally grown food supports local farmers and merchants in your own community as well as reducing the amount of fuel, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions required to move the food you eat from the farm to your table. Eating organic meat and produce keeps pesticides and chemical fertilizers off your plate and out of rivers and streams. Eating responsibly also means eating less meat, and fewer animal products such as eggs and dairy products, or perhaps none at all. It’s a matter of good stewardship of our finite resources. Farm animals emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, and raising animals for food requires many times more land and water than growing food crops. Ultimately, we need to reverse this growth trend by gradually bringing the human population of our planet back down to a more manageable size. This means more people must decide to have fewer children. This may sound pretty simple on the surface, but the drive to reproduce is fundamental in all species and the decision to limit or forgo the experience is an emotional, cultural or religious one for many people. Overpopulation is arguably the world’s most serious environmental problem because it exacerbates all of the others. The global population grew from 3 billion in 1959 to 6 billion in 1999, an increase of 100 percent in just 40 years. According to current projections, the world population will expand to 9 billion by 2040, a slower growth rate than during the last half of the 20th century but one that will leave us with many more people to accommodate. Livestock now uses 30 percent of the planet’s land surface, including 33 percent of farmland worldwide, which is used to produce animal feed. Every time you sit down to a plant-based meal instead of an animal-based meal, you save about 280 gallons of water and protect anywhere from 12 to 50 square feet of land from deforestation, overgrazing, and pesticide and fertilizer pollution.