How do we HARM the environment?

Let’s face it, people are too involved with their own lives to think of the presence of other people who live on this world. Therefore the tragedy of the commons, introduced by Garrett Hardin, is becoming more of a tragedy that is serverely detrimental to the environment. According to Hardin, the commons is the resources all people tap into during their lifetime. However, because the commons is shared by all, less resources are available as they fall into the tragedy of being used up by the public. Hardin believes in rising above the tragedy of the commons by having some kind of regulation that can limit the utilization of the scarce resources. Below are some ways in which we as citizens of the planet earth are harming the environment by wasting resources such as water, energy, materials etc followed by ways in which we can solve that issue.


    • On average, Americans use about 100 gallons of water every single day.  About 75% of that water is used in individual homes, specifically through bathroom use. Many Americans today, do not think about how much water they are actually wasting while flushing the toilet, taking a shower or even brushing their teeth. The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons per minute, thus if ONE person turns the faucet off in between brushing their teeth, about 8 gallons of water can be saved every single day. It just takes one person to keep the water from running, and as it accumulates, resources are immediately being saved.
    • Water is not only wasted in the bathroom, but through the appliances Americans use in their homes: dishwashers, washing machines, and the faucet that allows one to wash dishes. Again, because everyone needs to live clean, water is necessary to clean what is dirty. However, because these appliances were first introduced not too long ago, they can use so much water to clean just one load of laundry, or the plates and utensils at the dinner table.  If all American households were to update these early appliances with more water and energy – efficient ones, this country can save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18,000,000 every year. Newer appliances are more environmentally friendly and are “going green” because of today’s ecological situations.
      • For example, dishwashers today are 95% more energy efficient than those years ago because then, their focus was not on saving the earth. The saved water can be used by more people all over the country and can even provide for those in other countries.

  • Energy
    • Like the home appliances, other domestic devices use up a ton of energy that needs to be lessened and controlled.
      • Refrigerators today can actually save 70% more energy than the old ones.
      • Microwave ovens use half the energy less than a conventional oven uses to operate.
      • Replace old appliances to new ones because as technology advanced, products are more likely to use less energy than those developed a long time ago.
    • 40% of the nation’s carbon emissions that contribute to the climate change of the world is due to the production of electricity.
      • Every household needs light, thus makes use of the average light bulb that uses a lot of energy for a short amount of time. However, the improved compact fluorescent light bulbs are a perfect alternative as they produce the same amount of energy yet uses only a third of the energy the incandescent bulbs uses, not to mention, they last longer. This allows people to get the same outcome and what they need, for the better deal of saving energy and money.

  • Materials
    • About 48% of office paper is recycled back into office paper, tissue or other things.
      • Consequently, recycling one ton of paper is equivalent to saving seventeen mature trees or 7,000 gallons of water.
    • When someone recycles one aluminum can, enough energy is saved to run either a computer for three hours or a television for two hours.
    • Americans go through 2.5 million plastic bottles every year, and if one out of ten of those bottles were recycled, 200 million pounds of plastic can be recycled and be out of landfills every year.

These examples show how effective reducing, reusing and recycling would be if one person took it upon him or herself to care for the environment. If more people did so, the world would definitely have enough resources to provide its people and the commons can be saved for future generation rather than it all being used up now.

For more ways to help the environment rather than harming it, visit websites below!

21 Ways to Help the Environment:

10 Easy Ways to Go Green—Its-Easy-to-Go-Green&id=4026356

US Environmental Protection Agency

Long Term Effects of Going Green


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