As the gap between rich and poor continues to grow, poverty not only affects the people living it – it also affects the environment. Poverty puts additional stress on the environment – mainly through deforestation, waste management and population. One cannot ask of a person to protect the environment if they don’t have their basic needs met. Helping those in need, not only uplifts the person you are helping, it uplifts the entire community and environment surrounding them.
Poverty is defined as the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. Natural resources allow the human race to exist and evolve through the innovation of new products. When natural resources are not regulated properly, as a species, we overuse to the point of degradation. In regions that poverty is present; deforestation, air pollution and waste management increase. It is partially due to lack of knowledge in proper resource management – but mainly people depend on natural resources for their basic survival needs. Natural resources are used for cooking, heating, housing and crafts – thus depleting them further.
- According to the World Bank, at the start of the twenty-first century 1.2 billion people lived in absolute poverty – a condition defined by the United Nations as severe deprivation of basic human needs.
- The poverty rate in the developing countries can reach upwards of 90%.
- Air pollution is one of the major consequences of poor production techniques – while water pollution is a result of poor water management.
- Water pollution is higher in impoverished communities. Water pollution deprives soil of nourishing elements, kills off fish, and is extremely harmful to human health.
- Many multinational corporations find it easier and cheaper to export trash and build industrial factories in poor developing nations, where labor is cheap and there are less environmental regulations.
- Over the past two decades, indigenous communities have seen the government hand their land over to private companies.
How can I make an impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Share your knowledge and resources. By donating your time to give back an uplift people in poverty stricken communities – you can work to change the narrative for people.
- Write your local congresspeople to reduce poverty in your area. No person, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, should be left hungry or go without their basic necessities met. It is critical to come together as a society and care for one another.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Ask Congress for more regulations regarding multinational corporations. Many big businesses mindfully go into impoverished communities and exploit the land and water – leaving hazardous living conditions for many of the locals – while depleting the resources for their own basic needs.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Help support a non-profit that is working toward reducing poverty throughout the world. Find one that you resonate with and volunteer or donate what you can.
- Speak out against injustice. Poverty is not a choice – many times, it is due to a flawed political system.