Three environmental problems and ways to combat them

For years, humans have abused and contaminated the very environment that sustains them. But the general concern for the environment can be so overwhelming that people don’t know what to do or where to start to make a difference.

For years, humans have abused and contaminated the very environment that sustains them. But the general concern for the environment can be so overwhelming that people don’t know what to do or where to start to make a difference.

The list of issues surrounding our environment is long, but there are three main ones that affect the majority of them overall: global warming and climate change; water pollution and ocean acidification; and the loss of biodiversity. These three issues require immediate attention and proactive action on our part to ensure the conservation of the only habitable planet we call home. And, focusing attention on these three major topics will have a ripple effect on a number of smaller environmental issues like inefficient recycling systems and food waste.

Let’s look at three major environmental problems and some solutions that can help combat them:

Global warming and climate change
Human activities have made global warming and climate change a global threat. Rising levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have caused increased average global temperatures, extreme weather events, rising sea levels and other negative changes. These changes directly and indirectly affect all forms of life. Air, land and water pollution through excessive deforestation, industrialization and overfilling of landfills which emit CO2 and increase greenhouse gas emissions are all major causes of these environmental problems. Here are some effective solutions to these problems:

  • Invest in and encourage the production of sustainable technologies
  • Commercial and residential buildings should aim to achieve zero emissions or zero waste
  • Improve waste compaction in landfills with smart technology like stationary compactors that free up space for other constructive uses. It is available in different capacities and configurations to handle different volumes of waste.
  • Increase forest cover, restore seagrass beds and stimulate the use of agricultural cover crops to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Water pollution and ocean acidification
Rapid urban development, improper disposal of sewage by industries, oil spills, chemical and radioactive waste disposal, and plastic pollution are some of the major causes of water pollution. Today, water scarcity and polluted water pose a great threat to human existence in many countries of the world.

Ocean waters absorb about 30% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Ocean acidification occurs when CO2 absorbed by seawater undergoes a series of chemical reactions that lead to an increased concentration of hydrogen ions, thus making the seawater more acidic. This decreases carbonate ions in seawater, making it difficult for clams, deep-sea corals, oysters, etc. to build and maintain their shells and other calcium carbonate structures. These changes in seawater chemistry can also affect the behavior of other organisms. This endangers the entire ocean food web. Here are some measures that can help prevent water pollution and ocean acidification:

  • Practice more effective measures to contain spills
  • Reduce stormwater runoff and plant trees near water bodies to reduce soil erosion
  • Expand the acidity level measurement monitoring network to provide researchers and shellfish farmers with long-term, real-time pH data
  • Integrate ocean acidification threats into state coastal zone management plans
  • Increase marine protection measures

Loss of biodiversity
Biodiversity contributes to maintaining the balance of the ecosystem and provides biological resources essential to our existence. Habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, secondary extinction and introduced species are some of the ways humans are wreaking havoc on this planet’s biodiversity. Biodiversity loss can be countered in several ways:

  • The government should create and implement stronger policies and laws related to biodiversity conservation
  • Stop habitat destruction and encourage its restoration
  • Practice sustainable living
  • Reduce invasive species
  • Seek innovative ways to preserve biodiversity and educate people about it

Awareness and adaptation are two key steps towards the conservation of this benefit that is the environment. Each of us can and must do our part to limit the effects of these environmental problems and ensure that our future generations have a healthy planet to live on.

About the Author

Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate for efficient recycling. He writes on a wide range of topics to educate readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly waste bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environmental safeguard techniques by visiting his blog on Compactor Management Company.

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