Ecopedia

Ecomedia Letter: m

Maintenance

If it ain't broke, don't fix it - but do maintain it. Carrying out regular maintenance on appliances, vehicles, furniture, building fixtures and pretty much anything else that needs a little tender loving care, will help it live longer, work more efficiently and reduce the need for new.

Mangrove

An ecosystem and habitat which exists along the shoreline in the subtropics and tropics. Many of the species here are unique in being able to tolerate both submersion in salt water and exposure at low tides. They provide shoreline protection to people and property, provide habitats for endangered species and are a renewable resource to people. Mangroves are under threat from development all over the world.

Marine Life

We are the blue planet, with more than two thirds of our surface being ocean and a huge amount of life exists in the oceans and seas of the world. Just because most of us are confined to land does not mean we are not causing effects on marine life. Seafood is being overfished in most oceans of the world, plus, we wash rivers of wastewater into oceans and global warming is heating and changing the structure and properties of the ocean. If we use less and waste less, we can help reduce our impacts on marine life.

Media

The organizations that bring you your news and entertainment. But don't let it be a one-sided relationship. Let your media know how you feel about environmental issues. Send emails, call or write letters to the editors, and let your voice be heard.

Melting Ice

As temperatures increase with climate change, melting ice is acting as a warning bell to what is happening. Glaciers, ice sheets and ice caps all contain vast amounts of water which have the potential to raise sea levels. Ice frozen in land such as tundra also holds gases such as methane that is released when the ice melts, further continuing global warming. Ice and snow also have high reflectivity, which helps cool the earth by sending solar radiation back into space. Melting ice and snow further contribute to global warming by exposing ground that absorbs heat rather than reflecting it.

Mental Health

We know our environment can affect our physical health, but our mental health can be just as affected. Studies found that being in a natural space for as little as 10 minutes can improve our overall mental health. Take some time to walk and smell those flowers!

Mercury Poisoning

Very serious health risk to humans including damage to brain, kidneys, lungs and other diseases. It can be caused by exposure to mercury and by eating seafood that has a build up of mercury in it from environmental exposure of the animals.

Methane

A naturally occurring gas that has increased in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. It is a very potent greenhouse gas, being many times more effective than carbon dioxide at reflecting solar radiation back within the Earth's atmosphere and thereby heating it up. Also see Biogas & Greenhouse Gas.

Micro-finance

Providing loans or financial assistance to people who would not normally be able to access normal banking due to having very low incomes. The loans are typically very small and aim to help people set up sustainable incomes. There are websites where you and I can become micro-financers for as little as 20USD, so if you've got some spare cash, try it out.

Mining

The removal of minerals, fossil fuels or other materials from the Earth's surface. A huge industry worldwide that drives many economies. Mining has huge environmental risks. The surface above the mine is often destroyed to access what is beneath. Also many industrial mining processes have huge risks too, with materials leaching into the soil and water supply, and having wide-ranging environmental impacts.

Mitigation

To lessen the extent of damage. It is a term used in relation to environmental impacts that can not be eliminated, and instead, a strategy of dealing with the impact to lessen it is adopted. For example, many climate scientists believe that we can not stop climate change so we should focus on lessening its impacts.

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