The earth is not a big place. There are only so many resources that it can provide for us to use. We have been using the earth’s natural resources at an alarming rate, and we are starting to see the consequences of our actions in both human health and environmental destruction. One major consequence of our unhealthy reliance on fossil fuels is waste production. Waste production has increased exponentially over the last few decades, due to things like continued deforestation, factory farming practices, plastic pollution, and production of non-biodegradable fossil fuels. Waste generation is not the only problem though, as we have been ignoring waste management for a long time now!
How Does Not Recycling Harm The Environment?
Pollution is the biggest issue with waste production. Whether it is asbestos, old batteries, or plastic bags; any type of waste can pollute our environment. This pollution becomes an even bigger problem when you look at how long some types of waste take to degrade in landfills. Landfilled materials can emit toxic chemicals, methane gas (a greenhouse gas with 25 times the warming power of carbon dioxide), and other pollutants. If these toxins seep into groundwater, they can create a serious hazard for people living in surrounding areas.
In addition to polluting our air, water, and land; waste management is also harming biodiversity around the world! The amount of plastic filling up our waterways has become a major issue, and it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050! This increase in waste has led to a decrease of food sources for wildlife. The chemistry behind how plastics impact wildlife deserves an entire blog post on their own, but suffice it to say; we are poisoning our planet one piece at a time.
What Can We Do To Help?
One of the best things you can do to help reduce pollution and conserve our natural resources is by recycling. There are a lot of recyclable items that we use on a daily basis, but don’t always think about putting in their respective bins at home or work! Paper products like newspaper, magazines, notebooks, and paper plates all have a recycling code on them that you can use to figure out what kind of plastic they are made from. Cardboard boxes should also be recycled, as well as any sort of reusable shopping bag or grocery sack!
Another way that we contribute waste to our environment is by relying too heavily on non-biodegradable products. Plastic is a great example of this, as it does not decompose in landfills. It also takes over 1000 years for plastic to degrade! Try bringing reusable bags or mugs with you when shopping instead of using paper products and single-use plastics like straws, water bottles, coffee cups, etc.; if everyone made an effort to do so, we could reduce waste significantly!
At the end of the day; cutting down on our individual reliance on plastic and fossil fuels is one of the best ways that you can help protect both human health and environmental quality. The more people who make an effort to recycle, use reusable products, or rely less heavily on things like plastics; the more we can reduce waste and slow down the process of pollution.
Do not forget to recycle! Click Here for more information on how you can help protect our planet from toxic pollutants such as mercury, lead, arsenic, and other dangerous substances found in landfills across America.
These landfills are often located in low-income areas, because it is less expensive for companies to set them up near poorer communities. The average American produces four pounds of trash per day; multiply that by the amount of people on Earth and you can see just how big this waste problem really is! Some ways that we contribute to this issue include not recycling, using non-biodegradable products like plastic, and littering.
Litter is one of the biggest problems that we are facing right now when it comes to our environment! The amount of trash in our oceans has reached an all time high; scientists estimate that there will be more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050! Many animals are being killed by trash in the ocean every year, because they mistake plastic for food or get tangled up in it. An animal can starve to death when its stomach is full of indigestible items like bottle caps and straws.
There are also many chemicals contained within landfills that pollute our air, water, and soil. Some of these chemicals include mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, benzene; all of which are extremely dangerous to human health! When landfills overflow due to rain or other natural disasters like hurricanes; the harmful toxins they contain can end up in nearby lakes and rivers.
Natural Habitat Destruction:
Waste Landfills are also responsible for destroying natural habitats. They take up a lot of space, so animals that live on or near them have less room to roam around in! As the number of landfills increases every year; more and more wildlife will be forced out of their homes.
The resources used by humans can never truly be replaced; when we destroy our environment in the name of progress, it will take many years to reverse this damage.
Recycling is one way that you can personally contribute to slowing down environmental destruction! Click Here for more information on how your day-to-day choices affect local wildlife and habitats across America. If everyone made a conscious effort to recycle, reuse items like plastic bags and water bottles; we could cut down on waste significantly.
Recycling is also beneficial to the environment in other ways! When you recycle paper products or glass bottles, they are turned into new materials that can be used for future projects. This means less trees have to be harvested from natural habitats across America, so the wildlife that rely on these areas can continue to survive in their natural homes.
Recycle your trash today! Click Here for more information about how you can help reduce waste and protect our environment every day of the year. Reducing fossil fuels, using reusable products instead of single-use plastics; are all easy ways that everyone can contribute to this important cause.