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Word of the Day: Ecology

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by Danna Martínez

The air we breathe, the land we walk on, the food we eat, the clothes we wear. Nature is involved as a benefactor in every aspect of human life; therefore, caring for it, preserving it, and maintaining an adequate relationship with it is essential for life on the planet.

At present, ecology is a multidisciplinary science and one of the branches of biology responsible for the study of the interactions of organisms with each other and their physical and biological environment.

The word ecology is derived from the Greek Oikos, “house,” and logos “study,” in other words, “study or treatise on habitat.” The term has been known as coined by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) in 1869 and defined as “the study of the interdependence and interaction between living organisms (animals and plants) and their environment (inorganic beings).”

According to the NatGeo website, “Ecology began to gain popularity in the 1960s, when environmental issues were becoming the forefront of public awareness. Today, modern ecologists rely on data collected by their predecessors and they continue to transmit information about ecosystems around the world. ”

The specialties within ecology provide information necessary to understand the world better, manage natural resources, and protect human health. Over time, scientists began to study how plants functioned and their relationship to habitats. Later they started the study of animal interaction.

Ecology is a vital element for humanity and fulfills an essential role for the environment. It also seeks to strengthen the ecological balance between human beings, biodiversity, and nature.

Ecology is applied in various sectors such as conservation and environmentalism, urban planning, natural resources and wetlands management, community health, the economy, and human social interaction. Human activity plays an essential role in ecosystems around the world, from which it generates an environmental impact called the ecological footprint.

In order to reduce the environmental impact, multiple projects and proposals have been generated over time that seeks to rethink the overexploited use of natural resources, provide alternatives for the protection and conservation of ecosystems, contribute to the prevention of environmental pollution by executing and promoting acceptable practices towards the environment, among others. The difference begins with each person.

Here are some activities to reduce the environmental footprint:

  1. Understand that every action has a consequence.
  2. Seek to reduce unnecessary purchases.
  3. If possible, reuse an object before throwing it away. If an object cannot be reused, it must be recycled.
  4. Reduce waste. Try to reduce the use of plastic and paper.
  5. Save energy and water. Do not waste and use only the necessary and adequate amount.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” -Mahatma Gandhi.

 

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