Since the industrial age, humans have had a huge impact on the planet, and with our throwaway culture and increasing population, it’s set to get worse. However, it’s not too late to change our lifestyles to lessen our impact, whether it’s recycling or buying less. Here are some of the worst effects humans have had on the planet, and how they could be halted or even reversed.
Many urban areas now suffer from high levels of air pollution. This can often be found in the most densely populated cities, from Mumbai to Los Angeles, and it has a huge effect on the lives of residents. Pollution in the air causes asthma, and even kills people. By reducing car usage and making businesses such as factories greener, air pollution could be reduced.
Plastics are manmade, and are often created from toxic chemicals. Many of the daily products we use are made of plastic, and aren’t recyclable. As many plastics take thousands of years to biodegrade, with some of them never disappearing, they’ve piled up across the world. The only solution would be to reduce the amount of plastic we use, and to only buy products that can be recycled.
People now take large numbers of prescription drugs, which pass through their bodies and into the water supply. Not only does this pollute water, but the human impact is that we may be becoming resistant to antibiotics. Levels of oestrogen in our water supply are also rising due to women taking the contraceptive pill. This could lead to issues with male fertility, such as reducing sperm count. Doctors are now prescribing fewer antibiotics, and there are campaigns by the pharmaceutical industry to stop people flushing unwanted prescriptions.
Pollution from farming
As the population grows, farming becomes more intensive, and this means the use of a lot of chemicals. Pesticides from agriculture end up in the water supply, which can kill marine life, and there are many ways that farms can damage the land. Companies such as SERS environmental advisers can advise on the best ways to avoid environmental issues, and consumers could consider options such as using organic produce to lessen their impact.
Palm oil can be extremely damaging to the environment, but humans use it in a wide range of food and beauty products. Because forest land needs to be removed to make way for this kind of farming, it’s detrimental to the environment, and it can also pollute local water supplies. Consumers who are worried about palm oil can look for products used with alternative oils.
While much of the damage done by humans can’t be completely reversed, there are ways to lessen our impact on the environment. By making a few conscientious decisions, there are ways to ensure the problems don’t get worse. This could improve the lives of millions of people around the world, and ensures that the planet is fit for the next generation.