Our environment is critical to the very sustenance of life on Earth. When we damage our environment with man-made waste, serious environmental problems occur for our planet. However, many of us do not pay attention to the problems caused by the environment, which will be a huge problem for generations to come.
Due to the high levels of pollution, there is an alarming increase in environmental issues that pave the way for the depletion of natural resources. Let’s take a closer look at environmental issues and understand why the time has come to address them.
Why environmental issues should be addressed
In a recent report from the United Nations World Meteorological Order (WMO), it emerged that the world is already 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than it was during the pre-industrial years. Every single increase in the degree of heat on our Earth is a direct indicator of the level of global warming.
Based on our current emission levels, the report mentions that the planet will warm up by around 4-5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, which will be a devastating situation for the next generation.
If global warming increases by 2 degrees Celsius, then:
1. There is a 170% risk of more frequent and heavier rains, snows and floods, 2. 2.7 billion people worldwide will be hit by heat waves every 5 years, 3. Sea level will rise by 1.8 feet by 2100, and 4. 18% of insects, 16% of plants and 8% of vertebrates will be at risk.
With so much due to the rise in temperature, the time has come to take concrete steps to address the situation.
5 main environmental problems
1. Air pollution
We are already noticing several lung diseases due to the polluted air we breathe. From the vehicles we drive to the sugar production we consume every day, each of us contributes to air pollution. With the development of technology and the emergence of innovative ideas, there is an even greater threat to increasing air pollution in both developed and developing countries.
Solution : We can reduce air pollution from our homes by minimizing vehicle use and car pooling whenever possible.
While we are not directly seeing the consequences of deforestation, it is one of the reasons behind many of the problems we face today such as water shortages, biodiversity imbalances, species extinction and even air pollution. Due to urbanization, we are cutting down more trees and occupying forest areas to cope with the increase in population. As a result, we are indirectly harming the environment and pushing it to a point beyond which there is no turning back.
Solution : We can try to rebalance deforestation by planting more trees in our surroundings and staying away from wood products.
3. Water pollution
The water we drink is so polluted, especially in developing countries, that it has become a major cause of many deadly diseases. As we dump many chemicals into water sources such as the sea, river, lakes and oceans, we are contaminating the main source of consumption of all animals, birds and humans. Furthermore, plastic dumping into the ocean has become the main reason for the deaths of many aquatic lives.
Solution : We can start at home by saying “no” to chemical pesticides for our home gardening and move on to natural substances. We should also be cautious about dumping plastic substances into our bathrooms and wastewater that can threaten aquatic life.
4. Depletion of the ozone layer
Depletion of the ozone layer is the main cause of the increase in skin cancer worldwide. This exhaustion is also the direct contribution to the rise in Earth’s temperature. So what causes ozone depletion? Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons commonly found in aerosol spray cans and refrigerants. These UV rays are also responsible for causing immune-related disorders and affecting agricultural productivity.
Solution : We can limit the use of items in our family that generate CFCs and halons.
5. Loss of biodiversity
Due to all the above reasons, we are seeing a sharp increase in the extinction of different species of plants, animals, birds, insects and other organisms. With each of these species playing a role in balancing sustenance on Earth, this biodiversity loss is creating a huge imbalance that further takes on a chain reaction. This disruption of the food chain and plant life threatens our ecosystem and can affect the main source of food and medicines.
Solution : Although we, as normal humans, cannot do anything directly to impact biodiversity, we can change our lives to make sure we minimize all of the previous four environmental concerns to impact the ecosystem.
The fate of our planet and our future generations is in the hands of the present generation. If we act fast and take a step to preserve our environment, we face serious consequences that affect our lives in many ways.
About Plastic Collectors: Plastic Collectors is a venture by a group of like-minded individuals to do something to restore the imbalance in our environment. Let’s start with the most threatening problem for the environment: plastic waste. You too can make a difference by joining us now!