UCLouvain / Aquatic ecology
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As an aquatic ecologist, I am investigating the effects of environmental change on life. Therefore, I have seen the devastating effects of warming and pollution on animals like corals and sponges first hand. Coral reefs are dying all over the globe, not just the tropical ones but the less known cold-water ones too. These reefs are not just pretty to look at, they play a very important role as nursery for the very same fish we as humans like to eat. My greatest concern is that the oceans will be fished clean by the end of the century.
Therefore, I do not eat fish anymore. I also eat very little meat and I try to minimize my ecological footprint by:
- Separating my waste
- Always turning the lights off when I leave a room
- Buying second hand clothes when possible
- Buying local food as much as possible (no wine from outside Europe for example)
- Traveling by train or bus instead of flying
- Not using shampoo (just washing your hair with cold/lukewarm water is fine)
I try to inspire the people around me to do the same, but it is already hard to get my housemates to turn off the light when they leave a room. They just don’t think about these little things which is, I think, one of the core problems in our society. As citizens, we should care about global change and the way we humans are spoiling our own living environment at a steady pace. Politicians will do nothing as long as their voters don’t care enough to demand that measures are taken. Politicians are only human after all and will do whatever gets them re-elected. Therefore, it is of vital importance that society becomes aware of the situation and cares enough to take the necessary measures and to accept the costs those measures bring.