Pollution, regardless of its form, has been an ever growing concern for our planet ever since it became a severe issue following the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century. Nowadays, there are various different types of environmental pollution, from land to sea, that are having a detrimental impact on our planet and our future. The way in which we live will have an impact on this pollution, from the vehicle that you use to the energy supply you choose. While we may be negatively impacting the planet, there are a few small changes that you can make to your everyday life that can make for a brighter future. We have pieced together a guide to help you understand the different forms of pollution and how we can prevent it from impacting our beautiful planet.
Types Of Environmental Pollution: Effects & Solutions
A high-level of pollution can cause environmental degradation, which is a decline in natural resources such as water, air and even soil. As you can imagine, this will not only have an impact on the animals in the area, but it can also deform the landscape which can have damaging effects in the future. Most pollution comes from general waste and burning fossil fuels to generate energy, making it extremely easy to make changes to improve our planet and protect its future. For example, switching to an all green energy supplier like Ampower, allows you to continue to enjoy your home comforts without having to worry about damaging the environment.
To understand the extent of damage that can be caused and how we can prevent this from happening, it is first important to learn what types of pollution is created. Here are the three main forms of pollution and how you can lower your carbon footprint:
When it comes to air pollution, it will take a lot more than turning off a few lights around the house when they’re not in use. Air pollution is created through undesirable particles and gases entering the airflow. This results in a decline in air quality, which will continue to deteriorate over time, the more gases that enter the air. If this form of pollution is not controlled, it can cause diseases, allergies, and in the worst-case scenario, premature death. This is why you may find that those living in big cities or areas with industrial warehouses can be more affected by air pollution than those living in the countryside.
How Is Air Pollution Created?
There are two things that contribute the most to air pollution; vehicle exhaust and the burning of fossil fuels. To understand how you can make changes to your life to accommodate the reduction of air pollution, you first need to understand how these two factors contribute:
- Vehicle Exhaust – every time you drive your vehicle, you are contributing to air pollution; this is made worse when stuck in traffic with your vehicle running. This happens as your vehicle burns gasoline to run and emits pollutants into the air; these pollutants are extremely damaging to our environment. This form of pollution is heightened in cities where you are likely to find more vehicles on the road and traffic during busier times. You can find out more about how cars contribute to air pollution on How Stuff Works.
- Burning Fossil Fuels – there are various different forms of fossil fuels, from oil and coal to natural gases. Oil and coal is melted and burned in factories to produce energy to power everything from your computer to your phone charger, emitting chemicals and gases into the air that are harmful to our environment
How Can I Reduce Air Pollution?
Luckily, due to the two most common contributors of air pollution being man-made, it means that we can take a few steps to ensure that we reduce our energy wastage and move towards a ‘greener’ approach to energy. One of the best ways to do this is to make the change to renewable energy; this allows you to continue to enjoy your home comforts without impacting the environment. Renewable energy is all forms of energy that does not require the burning of fossil fuels and can be created using natural resources such as wind, solar power and water. This energy can then be used to power your home or business electricity without effecting how effective your devices and power works. When making the switch to Ampower, you can design your own business electricity plan and business gas plan to suit your needs, using 100% renewable energy and saving on your yearly energy bills.
To reduce your carbon footprint even further, we suggest looking into an electric vehicle. These vehicles have become immensely popular and are paving the way to a brighter future. Not only do you now have a wide selection of vehicle models and styles to choose from, but you can also benefit from a plug-in grant via the UK government and since electric vehicles emit zero emissions, you will also be exempt from road tax. Not only can you save money on your yearly outgoings in terms of your vehicle, but you can also take advantage of Ampower’s EV charging solutions which can provide you with renewable energy to run your vehicle. Contact our team today to find out more about our business and home gas supply and electricity solutions!
While air pollution is one of the most damaging to our planet, it is important not to forget about other damaging pollutants that can affect other parts of our environment. Our water supply is also being affected by pollution, which not only harms the environment and is extremely dangerous to aquatic animals, but it can also be detrimental to human health. Water pollution is damage to any form of water, whether that be a small lake or the big ocean and can eventually lead to a water crisis if not effectively resolved.
How Is Water Pollution Created?
There are a fair few things that contribute to water pollution, and again, is caused by human disposal of waste and generating pollutants. Water pollution most commonly refers to sewage flowing into water supplies such as rivers and entering the ocean, as well as the disposal of plastic materials including bottles, plastic bags and much more. This is having an extremely negative effect on aquatic wildlife, poisoning animals which can impact their unborn as well as their own health. Not only this, but animals effected by plastic waste are also at risk of physical harm by getting tangled in the materials or eating the plastic. You can find out more information about the damaging effects of water pollution on aquatic life by visiting IUCN’s website.
How Can I Reduce Water Pollution?
There are an abundance of ways in which you can help to reduce water pollution, making wise decisions when purchasing goods, and being more careful when disposing of waste. Some examples include the following:
- Carefully Choose Products – when buying goods, make sure to look for contain dangerous chemicals and opt for solutions such as biodegradable packaging.
- No Fat/Grease Down Drains – do not dispose of any fats or grease down the drain, as this will enter the water supply. Instead, this should be disposed of by placing in a bin. You can find more information on how to dispose of fats and oils on South West Water.
- Use Phosphate-Free Detergent – Phosphates are harmful chemicals and can be extremely poisonous to aquatic wildlife. Try purchasing phosphate-free products that will do just as good of a job without the negative impact.
- Recycle Waste – always recycle plastic products, as they can be reused and will prevent the materials entering water.
Land pollution is one of the most detrimental forms of pollution to plants, which will inevitably affect wildlife. The reason for this is because the soil becomes contaminated with pollutants, which can cause plant defects, weaken plants and even prevent them from growing altogether. This, therefore, has a knock-on effect and can impact surrounding wildlife by limiting their supply of food and oxygen.
How Is Land Pollution Created?
One of the biggest contributors to land pollution is the cutting down of trees, which is also known as deforestation. This has had a detrimental impact on our planet, particularly in recent years, with around 3.5 million trees being cut down a year; this equates to 50,000 square km of land! The reason this causes an issue for our future is because not only does it take years for trees to grow back, but the soil also becomes contaminated over time from flooding water and other impacts, which makes it hard for the soil to provide nutrients to growing trees.
How Can I Reduce Land Pollution?
There are a few ways in which land pollution can be reduced and repaired. Unfortunately, these solutions are not readily available for the average person, making it hard for you to have an impact. However, there are a few ways in which the world as a collective can reduce land pollution. For example:
- Reforestation – replanting trees can help to minimise the effects of deforestation and ensures that the soil is kept in the proper condition for plant growth. While you may not be able to help to plant trees physically, there are multiple charities such as One Tree Planted in which you can donate to.
- Solid Waste Treatment – solid waste refers to the dumping of domestic and commercial garbage and materials that increase toxic levels which can alter the biological properties of soil. Solid waste treatment is where chemicals such as acid-based neutralisation are put into the soil to nourish it and repair damage.
- Reuse Materials – where possible reuse cloths, plastic bags and glass, and where this is not possible, recycle. This reduces the impacts of landfills and, therefore, negative chemicals entering the soil.
Reducing The Effects Of Pollution
There are several ways in which you are able to contribute to the lowering of pollution, whether that be through small changes around the home or making big investments such as installing solar panels. Everyone has a part to play in protecting our planet, and there are many methods that can significantly impact the environment while having no effect on your daily life. For more information on how you can make a greener home, please feel free to contact our team or take a look at our previous article for advice!