Why replacing nature with concrete is killing our oceans.
Todays human world is thriving. More growth, more expansion, more profit with no one to tell us when to stop. Growth is great, but when will it slow down? Here is why we need to stop viewing a natural spaces as "nothing."
If you were to ask a business-minded professional how does one progress, their answer will likely incorporate expansion, development or industry. In order to progress one must grow, in order to prosper your business must expand. Since the industrial revolution humans have been expanding at a never before seen rate, creating innovative technologies and advancements in every aspect of our lives. This alone is truly amazing and an achievement to be recognized.
However, as we continue to evolve we are replacing earths green spaces like no generation before us. Planners look at a plot of land and see the space as empty or available for development, as nothing profitable . But does this space not already carry great economic value? At what point will we stop overlooking the value of our green spaces
I am not here to downplay development, but more-so to point out why concrete is killing our oceans and why it doesn't have to be that way. Solutions exist, we just need to utilize them!
Nature has value. I repeat, nature HAS VALUE. This is something that we often forget and severely underestimate. It is easy for us to look at a factory and quantify its cost and profitability. It can prove to be far more challenging when dong the same for nature. How much air does it purify? How much carbon does it store? How much wildlife resides there? How much oxygen does it produce? How much water does it filter? The benefits for a single natural space can go on and on, and are also unique to each individual green space. The tricky part is putting these values in terms that most people care about...money.
Researchers have determined that a single, fully grown tree over 50 years will produce more than:
$31,000 worth of Oxygen
$62,000 worth of pollution control
$31,000 worth of erosion protection and soil fertility
$37,500 worth of water purification
$31,250 worth of habitat for wildlife
It has been estimated that over a 50 year period the profit produced from a single tree is equal to approximately $193,250. It can be hard for humans to recognize the direct impact trees have on our lives, and even harder to appreciate its value. We've never really had to experience life without trees, therefore we don't fully comprehend their role in our daily lives.
Research shows that the presence of a single tree in an area can double the amount of biodiversity (other living things) found in that same area. Nature isn't "nothing."
Green Filter vs. Gray Funnel
Green spaces act as natural filters for air, soil and water. They are designed to continuously exchange gases with the environment, cleaning the air we breathe, while simultaneously housing gallons of our drinking water that is purified as it seeps deeper into freshwater reservoirs.
As we remove these green spaces, exposing the carbon and moisture stores to the atmosphere, we are frequently replacing them with concrete. This dark, hardened, impervious surface has not only permanently replaced the green space, it has now altered the entire function of this area. Concrete stores no carbon, it filters no air, it purifies no water, it only adds to bigger problems.
Since concrete doesn't store water it actually makes it much easier for land areas to flood during a rainstorm. Since there is no absorption, any trash, pollutants or toxins on or around the concrete are washed right into local water ways without hesitation. Concrete roads, sidewalks, buildings and walkways are like hard, gray funnels letting anything along their surfaces to wash into our rivers, lakes and ocean. Most street drains in cities, towns and neighborhoods drain directly into local waterways. After all, it's just rain...right?
A Greener Future
Solutions are here people! Global advancements in the efforts to solve some of the worlds most pressing issues are changing the game! In response to the global climate crisis, creators are becoming more innovative than ever before. GREEN CITIES, HEMPCRETE, SOLAR GLASS, SOLAR AC UNITS, ROOF TOP GARDENS, VICTORY GARDENS, SOLAR ROADS, AGROFORESTRY and some good old fashioned RESTORING & PROTECTING GREEN SPACES. All of these solutions create jobs, innovate industries and show that we can learn from our mistakes and make our cities more efficient, including the nature.
Right now, switch your primary web browser to Ecosia. For every search you do they plant trees, it's like Google but greener! You can also support other green minded companies through any purchase you make, such as TenTree, Baron Fig, Good Seeds Apparel & more.
Let's agree to see nature as "something" worth protecting.