SergeOstroverhoff via Getty Images
With the help of citizen scientists, genetic testing can offer a powerful approach to righting environmental wrongs. Combining crowd-sourced scientific data, public policy reform and consumer activism is already showing positive results. The same approach could work in areas such as testing for antibiotics, pesticide and mercury residues and more.
Thomas Mukoya / Reuters
Although mountains are always moving imperceptibly, what happens in a national mountain park -- when the earth moves under your feet? The series of earthquakes in Central Italy beginning in August 201...
Clean air, water and soil to grow food are necessities of life. So are diverse plant and animal populations. But as the human population continues to increase, animal numbers are falling. Habitat degradation and destruction, hunting and overfishing, the illegal wildlife trade, invasive species, disease, pollution and climate change are causing an extinction crisis unlike any since dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago.
There's nothing like the potential loss of Earth's rich biodiversity and planetary life support systems to make one feel, well, a little overwhelmed. Our individual actions can seem like small roles on a very big stage. But it's important to remember that our current crisis of biodiversity loss didn't result from one catastrophic event.
Maskot via Getty Images
At this juncture in our planet's history it may be worth pausing and contemplating that the well-being of human species depends on the well-being of the biosphere. Earth has provided optimal conditions for life's evolution, but human activities are offsetting the balance.
Image Source via Getty Images
Microbes in the air and soils of natural environments can be unique. Microbial differences on the skin of those living in close proximity to more diverse vegetation may directly influence immune function throughout the body and may even influence mood.
Every second of every day, over 2,400 land animals are killed for food. To add insult to injury, animal agriculture is one of the most significant contributors to climate change.
Anna Sirotina via Getty Images
Under no net loss, the loss of one acre of habitat displaced by development is replaced with one acre of the same habitat. In theory, we should end up with the same features and functions as we had before, and have no loss. Unfortunately, no net loss rarely works this way.
Without the forest and the economic activity it generates, the North Shore, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and all the other forest regions of Quebec would not have experienced the same level of economic development that has benefited all Quebecers. However, forestry activity could fall sharply in the fairly near future.
Fuse via Getty Images
We need to protect as much land as possible from all human activities so remaining wildlife populations have the space and resources needed to respond to predation and food supply challenges. The cost of restricting industrial development in B.C.'s forests would be expensive in terms of lost revenue, but it would save us having to micromanage every dwindling species.
Elena Elisseeva via Getty Images
All you have to do is bring Mather Nature indoors in the form of plants. For many Canadians, this isn't entirely a new concept. For decades, plants have been brought into the home and office to brighten up the mood and add some colour to an otherwise drab atmosphere. But the benefits are far greater than aesthetics.
Monti Sibillini National Park Photo Archive
If we disconnect from the natural world, we become disconnected from who we are -- to the detriment of our health and the health of the ecosystems on which our well-being and survival depend. Understanding that we're part of nature and acting on that understanding makes us healthier and happier, and encourages us to care for the natural systems around us.
Any mountain meal in Europe is likely comprised of some local ingredients. Taking it one step further, the Monti Sibillini National Park in Central Italy is offering a pure mountain taste. The project called "Menu of the Sibillini" has challenged restaurants in the park to create a dish whereby every single ingredient is from the park.
In Montefortino, a gloriously beautiful mountain village in Central Italy, Alice Alessandrini started a mountain food label in 2012. Her pasta making business Regina dei Sibillini produces wheat in the foothills and also at 1000 meters altitude in the Monti Sibillini National Park.