Green living is not just about solar energy and recycling. Keeping your environment clean is one of the main ways to healthy living. We all know that littering looks ugly and is illegal, but there are other things we can do to maintain a healthy, clean environment and reduce diseases and pest infestations. A civic or personal green environment should:
• Enhance the quality of life
• Work in collaboration with family members or community stakeholders
• Contribute to the overall well-being of the locality
Education for keeping the environment clean can start at an early age. When children start life with clean habits they are more likely to keep them into adulthood and teach them to their children. For example, washing hands before eating, regular baths and teeth brushing are personal habits that can be taught. Along with personal hygiene, the surroundings can also be maintained in a clean state. For example, putting trash in the proper receptacle and not spitting in public places.
The Environment as Dumping Ground
Early industrialized societies considered the outdoor environment as the dumping ground for wastes of industrial operations. The environment itself had no value except as a resource. The perception has changed as the world’s population grew and recourses became rare. Today, humans try to live within their ecosystems and cause as little damage as possible. Sustainable living is the way forward. This means humans give back to the environment in one way or another the amount they take from it.
Why Clean the Environment?
Cleaning is defined as keeping the environment free of unwanted matter. Cleaning is a fundamental environmental management process that systematically puts unwanted matter in the proper place where it doesn’t cause harm, become unsightly or have other adverse effects.
Once the importance and effectiveness of cleaning becomes evident, it will become clear how important it is to a better quality of life. Humans do not flourish amid waste. Humans require clean water, land and energy. When waste materials are randomly discarded, they begin to pollute the air, water and land, allowing diseases to develop and insects to multiply. For example, when leaves and rainwater are not properly cleaned from a yard or a city street, disease carrying mosquitoes can breed and cause epidemics in the locality.
Foodborne diseases affect about 76 million people each year in the U.S. Some cases are mild and some are very serious and require hospitalization. When trash is left in the open, it develops bacteria and attracts insects. These insects may carry the bacteria to other places of interest which is the food you eat.
Types of Cleanliness
Litter has already been mentioned. Successful litter prevention programs reduce civic spending, teach citizen engagement and keep parks and streets clean. There are different kinds of litter containers that facilitate recycling and invite the public to use them. A litter remediation program encourages people to clean up the litter and teaches the importance of preventative measures.
Other types of cleanliness include illegal dumping on public property remediation, graffiti prevention and remediation, beautification programs that include parks and public art as well as environmental stewardship that includes helping private property owners reduce the human impact on natural habitats and ecosystems.