We all want to help the environment by being green and turning everything green. However, it’s not always good. But I don’t mean that we should go back consuming all petroleum based stuff, what I mean by the bad kind of green is the excessive algae you find in waters. Green lifestyle? Heck yes. Green waters? A thousand times no plus infinity.
It’s not that kind of clear green like you find in some lakes, rivers, and beaches. This type of water has that gross, opaque, green and you know that it’s not healthy for other living beings. When waters are not green, you’ll get healthy drinking water and recreation as well as fishing opportunities are increased.
When the waters are green, you can’t have drinking water because of algal blooms that release toxins into the water. When dense algae blooms die, the decomposing bacteria steals oxygen in the water. And without oxygen, fish, animals, and other living things in the waters suffocate. Also, this kind of water also contribute to the infamous atmospheric methane (you know, the greenhouse gas that are more harmful than carbon dioxide).
Jake Beaulieu of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and lead author of a paper on lake greening and greenhouse gas emissions that was published last 26 of March said in the journal Nature Communications said, “We estimate that the greening of the world’s lakes will increase the emission of methane into the atmosphere by 30 to 90 percent during the next 100 years.”
The authors stated that there are three distinct mechanisms which will be the cause of the increase of lake greening or eutrophication during the next 100 years. The process begins with the increase of human populations.
The authors expect that it increases by 50 percent by 2100. The exploding number of humans will lead to more sewage and more fertilizers. When that happens, eutrophication in lakes will increase by 25 to 200 percent by 2050 and double or quadruple by 2100.
Secondly, increased storms and stormwater runoff result in the nutrient losses from land to inland waters. Then, the lakes get warmer because the climate becomes warmer as well. What’s wrong with warm waters? The algae feast on it and prosper. When more waters are covered with the green stuff, there will be more methane-emitting surface waters.
The paper’s co-author John A. Downing of the University of Minnesota Sea Grant program said, “It is really surprising how much eutrophication could increase in the next 50 to 100 years,”
“People do four important things that affect eutrophication: they eat, they excrete, they make more people who eat and excrete, and they alter landscapes and climate,” said the author.
The authors stimulated the eutrophication of lakes under four different and conservative scenarios of future phosphorus loading from low to high using projected population growth and climate change.
“We used phosphorus because the relationship between phosphorus and plant or algae growth is well established. Currently, the single largest source of atmospheric methane is wetlands. If the phosphorus in lakes triples, then methane emissions from lakes could be twice that of wetlands,” said another co-author Tonya DelSontro of the University of Geneva.
According to Science Bulletin, the authors used a statistical model they created in 2018 that correlates methane emissions with lake size and chlorophyll, which is a measure of high algal biomass stimulated by phosphorus.
By using global distribution of lake size and total lake area, climatic heating of lakes, future phosphorus concentrations and storm-driven nutrient runoff they were able to estimate future lake methane emissions, which the authors say has not been done before.
The authors are hoping to improve nutrient management practices that could reverse the eutrophication of the lakes and reduce methane emissions. Downing said, “In keeping and improving the quality of our fresh water we win twice. Once in the atmosphere and once back down here on Earth.”
Being Green The Right Way
Now, we all know already that being green in terms of water condition is not good. However, being green in terms of lifestyle is something you absolutely should adapt. Here are the things you can do to be one.
1. Avoid bottled water when possible
It’s true that you can recycle these bottles, but this product contributes a lot to the large amount of plastic waste. Also, you drain your money faster if you buy bottled water. So to save some money and make the environment happy, buy refillable bottle instead. If you live in countries which don’t provide public drinking water, you can always get large bottles. It’s heavy, yes, but hey, you can turn it into a makeshift weights/dumbbell and you can have a bit of arm workout.
2. Grow your own food
Growing your own food will save you money and there will be no transportation emission that contribute to climate change. Don’t have a large garden or enough space for it? Here’s our article talking about the issue. One downside is that you have to manage your time very well to tend your garden and it’ll be hard for busy people. However, the result will be worth it.
3. Say yes to green holidays
Holidays can leave a lot of carbon footprint and it’s definitely not good for the environment. Also, places that are too famous, especially without proper management or regulation, can be damaging to the local habitats and worsen the pollution.
What you can do is either having your holiday locally or do a green holiday. Don’t know how? Don’t worry, we’ve got this article to help you with it.
4. Bees are love, bees are life
These little flying insects don’t just give us delicious honey. They’re also so important to the environment because they play vital roles to pollinating plants. And as you might know, bee populations keep decreasing because of pesticides, increasing predators, and mites or parasites.
What you can do to save the bees is buying organic honey to support natural beekeeping practices and/or donate to organizations that promote their wellbeing. If you have a green thumb, you can make a bee friendly garden! Click here to find out how.
5. Begin giving green gifts
There’s always a gift for everything and you can make it green as well. For a start, you can make your own present or you can offer to do some favors as a present. If you want to buy gifts instead, though, get them from environmental-friendly companies. Here’s an article to help you with gift giving.