Written by: Kevin Gardner
Environmental scientists have warned that there may be as little as 20 years left to make the changes needed to reverse climate change and save the planet from an inevitable march towards being unfit to sustain human life. People who are willing to dedicate their professional lives to eco-friendly careers are more important than ever. If you would like to earn a living saving the planet, consider these six eco-friendly careers.
1. Renewable Energy
One of the greatest threats to our environment is the overuse of fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, creates emissions that become trapped in the atmosphere and contribute to the greenhouse effect, causing a rise in global temperatures.
There are many different jobs in the field of renewable energy. You could work as an engineer, designing and implementing new technologies, start your own renewable energy company or work in any of hundreds of support roles in the industry. Qualifications will depend upon which job you intend to pursue. Degrees such as a Masters in Sustainable Energy online, engineering, business administration and many others could help you on your way.
2. Organic Farmer
The chemicals and pesticides used in conventional farming can be harmful to the air, water and soil. The growing demand for organic produce from consumers has created a demand for organic farming. Because organic crops are more difficult to mass-produce than conventional crops, there is a high demand for innovators who can find ways to more economically produce organic crops, making them more affordable and accessible to people at all income levels.
3. Eco-friendly Automotive Industry
Gasoline-powered vehicles are one of the top sources of harmful pollution. Because of this, scientists have long urged consumers to switch to more environmentally friendly vehicles, such as electric cars. Additionally, some state and local governments have begun offering incentives to consumers to drive eco-friendly vehicles.
As consumer demand for eco-friendly automobiles increases, the demand for workers in this industry will also go up. There are many opportunities to choose from including automobile design, sales, marketing and others.
The field for eco-friendly entrepreneurship is wide open. You could invent a brand new product, find a way to make an existing product more environmentally friendly or make a living selling someone else's inventions. If you do not want to focus your entire business on environmental issues, you could launch a business in whatever sector you have an interest in, while focusing on engaging in environmentally friendly business practices. Another option is to open a consulting firm that teaches other businesses how to operate in an eco-friendly manner.
If you have a love for growing things, then landscaping may be a great choice for you. Conventional landscaping methods often involve the use of harmful chemicals, excessive water use and gasoline-powered equipment. Green landscaping techniques seek to preserve natural environments, reduce the use of harmful chemicals, conserve water and use sustainably powered equipment.
6. Park Ranger
If you are smarter than the average bear and the idea of spending your days chained to a desk depresses you, consider becoming a park ranger. Park rangers protect National, State and Local parks and the people who visit them. When left to their own devices, people have a habit of throwing their trash on the ground or in the water, engaging in dangerous or unhealthy practices with the local wildlife and damaging irreplaceable natural landmarks. Park Rangers help educate the public and enforce the laws that help preserve the natural beauty of the parks they protect.
These six eco-friendly careers are an opportunity to earn a living doing something you enjoy, while also preserving the environment at a time when it is needed most. The human race is running out of time to reverse course on hundreds of years of environmentally damaging practices. By taking up one of these careers, you can literally help save the planet.