Pollution 2 Essay, Research Paper
Webster s Collegiate Dictionary defines pollution as the introduction of harmful substances or products into the environment (Merriam-Webster). There are many types of pollution ranging from air to land. It is a major problem in America and as well as the entire world. Pollution not only damages the environment, but damages us also. Pollution is the cause of many problems ranging from lung cancer to the greenhouse effect. Though pollution is all among us, we continue to live in our own filth and do nothing to better the environment around us. What is the reason behind this flawed logic? In this paper I will examine the problems and solutions for this issue.
Automobiles are definitely the greatest source of pollution. The pollution created by cars is immense. One polluting effect of cars is the heat it creates. This heat makes it unpleasant to be near the car while it is running. The heat produced by cars contributes to the deterioration of the ozone. Another negative effect that automobiles contribute to the environment is the exhaust. The toxic fumes given off as a byproduct of the combustion engine are slowly deteriorating our lungs and our atmosphere. The exhaust is extremely toxic to human beings. But why do we continue to drive these walking time bombs? Some common reasons given are that cars get us places faster and walking or riding a bike would take to much time and energy. Why walk four miles in four hours when you can drive the same miles in four minutes? I agree that we need cars but we should not abuse the right to use them. Do not drive down the road a few blocks to see a friend, walk. One good solution that can help eliminate some of the car pollution is by having more car pools. The California Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair recommends that you study your owner’s manual and use these 10 tips for car care that will save our air and help your car pass its Smog Check: Check your tire pressure and alignment. Change your oil and filter. Keep it tuned up. Check your emission control devices. Service your engine promptly when warning lights appear. Always refer to the owner’s manual and use the oil and fuel recommended by the manufacturer. Change your fuel filter. Change your air filter. Inspect hoses, wiring and belts. Check crankcase breather elements. (Bureau of Automotive Repair). Since car pollution has such a drastic effect on the environment, we should take every little step possible so that Mother Earth does not have to continue suffering.
Another popular source of waste is the post-consumer market. American citizens throw away millions of tons of garbage each year, and this trash has to go somewhere. While there are projects underway to clean and reuse some of this trash most of it gets dumped into huge landfills. These landfills are disgusting festering blisters on our country’s landscape. The following are a few of the disadvantages to a landfill: Landfills are getting more expensive every year because of required environmental controls and the cost of land.
Material in a landfill is so tightly compacted that it degrades very slowly. Runoff from landfills can contribute to groundwater pollution. Recyclable materials buried in a landfill represent a loss of resources. Landfills are becoming increasingly difficult to site. Landfills take up valuable land that could be used for other purposes or left undeveloped as open space (Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation). Even though people know the negative effects that trash and landfills have on Mother Earth, they continue to consume and throw away more and more in the name of convenience. As they see it, when things get old, throw it away and get a new one. They blame the government for the trash problem, but the truth is that the blame should be placed on them. Some possible solutions to eliminate some of this filth are to not be wasteful and to recycle.
The last great source of pollution lies in the businesses. Although not common, businesses have been known to dump their waste products into streams, lakes, and rivers. This may seem like a relatively small occurrence that really is not your concern, but you’re wrong. Each time one of these companies pollutes, there are horrible consequences to pay. Mutations, disease carrying water, and the death of plant and animal life have all occurred as a direct result of illegal dumping. It contaminates our drinking water and soil. It causes entire communities of humans and other animals to move on to new places not to return for at least a century. The pollutants dumped by industry are so concentrated that a single barrel can destroy an entire lake’s ecosystem. Not only do companies dump chemicals, but also hot water. This hot water kills most life it comes into contact with, but also causes an overgrowth of algae that covers the surface of the lake, or pond, and blocks the light from reaching the bottom. This means the plant life cannot grow. Small bacteria and other microorganisms can’t grow causing fish not to be able to feed on them thus eventually destroying the entire ecosystem. Businesses also cause much of the air pollution. The air pollution comes from the heat it takes to manufacture products and mainly from the different toxins produced by the machinery these businesses use. One solution for businesses to control their pollution is to start a Pollution Prevention Program. The Pollution Prevention Program is designed to develop simple, creative ways for businesses, organizations and residents to reduce the amount of waste they produce. Municipal solid waste production (non-industrial, non-hazardous waste) is steadily increasing, while traditional disposal methods are becoming increasingly problematic. Waste reduction prevents pollution, conserves resources, and frequently results in cost savings. Working together to reduce waste can also help build community by bringing people together to work toward common goals (Clean Air Council).
Pollution like any other problem can be solved, but this is a long process. Individuals can do their part to save the environment as well as themselves. Instead of driving, carpool, take the bus or any other method of mass transit. This will cut down on pollution made by cars each year, not to mention your gas money. When it comes to the trash problem, take the time to sort your trash and place it in the appropriate recycling bins. By recycling we reduce the amount of waste piled onto the landfills. As for consumption, pay attention to how the products you buy are manufactured and how they are packaged. Avoid those products made in unfriendly ways towards our mother earth. If a product encourages the destruction of land, or is of completely no use don’t buy it. And finally voice your opinion in the polls. If each individual did their part, we will be creating a better world for ourselves as well as our children.