The earth’s ecosystem is very delicate. Every living thing on the planet needs fresh air and clean water, and it is incumbent upon humans to make sure the environment stays healthy and sustainable. Humans create a lot of waste, much of which is toxic to many forms of life. There is a right way and a wrong way to dispose of that waste.
Disposing of Hazardous Waste Improperly
Hazardous household waste (HHW) can create terrible environmental problems if disposed of the wrong way. It can pollute the environment by putting toxins into the soil, water, and air, toxins that can cause sickness in humans and animals.
Dumping in the Oceans
Humans have been dumping garbage into the oceans and seas for thousands of years, but with the global population explosion that has followed the industrial revolution, the impact of this waste has grown exponentially. Chemicals, industrial waste, and other pollutants damage the tender underwater ecosystem, making sea life sick and causing the death of important reef ecosystems, as well as increasing the toxicity of fish consumed by humans. Many countries have enacted laws to thwart this kind of pollution, but until all countries protect the oceans and seas, marine life will continue to suffer.
Water sources that are polluted often become acidic, caused chiefly by carbon dioxide from both the atmosphere and from dumped waste. Marine life is extremely sensitive to pH levels, so waste has far reaching repercussions, including direct economic impacts, such as those felt by the fishing industry.
Dumping on Land
Most countries have designated landfill sites for waste, and many countries operate recycling facilities as well. However, the problem of environmental dumping has not been curtailed. Environmental dumping is sending waste from country to country with the goal of sending waste to a place with fewer environmental laws or laws that aren’t really enforced. The result is more contaminated land and loss of biodiversity.
The Biodiversity Problem
With a worldwide biodiversity imbalance, the earth is seeing the decimation of plant species, marine life and animals. Pollution, improper dumping of waste, climate change, and deforestation are killing the environment and many species.
What Each Person Can Do
There are things you can do in your own backyard to help the environment. Properly getting rid of your garbage is crucial. Recycle whenever you can and as much as you can. Composting organic waste and getting rid of dangerous products properly is also essential, and every little bit helps the bigger picture. If everyone did his or her part, it would make an enormous impact on the well-being of the environment and on the lives of future generations.