We are exposed to it every second, every minute, every day, and it is silently killing us. As a resident of the capital city of India, I feel chocked to death because of excessively high rate of air pollution in Delhi. I feel shaky about drinking tap water for fear of contracting waterborne bacterial diseases. While eating my food I know I am partaking trace chemicals and preservatives used by traders to increase shelf life. Even when I am savoring my Chicken Ala Kiev, I know that I am unwittingly ingesting traces of antibiotic injected into the bird to prevent avian influenza. In short, pollution today is so pervasive that fighting against it looks like a lost battle.
However, sit down and take a deep breath, because this post will help you find how to cope with environmental pollution that includes Air pollution, Water pollution and Plastic pollution.
What is Air Pollution and How to Cope With It?
Air pollution is currently considered as one of the biggest threats for the environment, affecting everyone- Human beings, Animals, Birds and reptiles, Plants and Fruit bearing trees, Agricultural products, Metropolitan cities, smaller townships, forests, you name it.
What Causes Air Pollution?
Air pollution is caused by the introduction and/or presence (in the atmosphere) of toxic substances, primarily produced by human activities, albeit resulting from natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions, dust storms and wildfires, often depleting the air quality. However, anthropogenic air pollution sources include:
- Combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum products (petrol, diesel, furnace oil, etc) for generation of electricity and running of vehicles, producing air pollutants such as nitrogen (N2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).
- Greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles that pollute the atmospheric air.
- Methane gas produced both by manmade and natural sources.
How to Cope With Air pollution
Air pollution may be tackled both singularly and jointly. While you personally can contribute towards reducing air pollution by not using your petrol or diesel driven car, thereby controlling emission, governmental agencies in Delhi have controlled it by way of allowing odd and even registration marks of cars to appear on roads on daily basis. However, here are some of the ways that will help cope with air pollution problem.
- Insist on renewable fuel and clean energy production – Go for solar, wind and geothermal energies.
- Use hybrid or electric vehicles instead of conventional modes of transport
- Insist on closure of smoke belching furnaces within city areas.
- Limit fireworks display during Diwali
What is Water Pollution and How to Cope With It?
Water pollution has become a growing concern over the last century as more and more waste is being disposed of in our oceans, rivers and lakes. Polluted water can affect people and animals either directly through consumption or indirectly through food sources, land degradation and the overabundance of plants and algae which can cover the surface of various bodies of water making it undrinkable.
What Cause Water Pollution
Water pollution may be caused by the intentional or unintentional disposal of hazardous chemicals and materials into a body of water. However, here are some reasons behind harmful water pollution.
- Release of waste water from chemical factories.
- Release of waste water from fish and meat processing units.
- Acid rain falling regularly.
- Ruptured pipeline carrying filtered water and coming in contact with sewerage.
- Indiscriminate use or misuse of pesticides, fertilizers, etc and allowing the residue to run off into rivers or lakes.
How to Cope With Water Pollution
Water pollution, arguably proves to be yet another massive threat to the environment, while the best solution to this gargantuan problem equates to nothing but prevention. Even though preventing a river from carrying polluted water or filtering a sea polluted by plastic waste seem beyond human capabilities at first, the following lines may encourage you go for it right away.
- Practice soil conservation to prevent water pollution. Studies have revealed that one of the most significant ways in which soil impacts water pollution is through soil erosion. When soil is eroded by water, it shifts sediment from the land into the flowing body of the water. But the worst part of all this that along with the sediment comes traces of left over chemicals used earlier on the land. And the net result is polluted water. So, once you take care of the source, the rest is automatically taken care of.
- Dispose off toxic chemicals with due care. Chemicals that include ammonia, bleach, paint removers that are known as Volatile Organic Compoundscan wreak havoc when carelessly released in waterways. However, safe disposal of these substances can prevent water pollution to a great extent.
- Several internationally famed organizations are currently engaged in cleaning our oceans, removing plastic waste and other pollutants from the sea bed.
What is Plastic Pollution and How to Cope With It?
Plastic pollution is the end result of accumulation of plastic waste in the environment. It may be classified into primary plastic waste comprising cigarette butts and bottle caps, or secondary plastic waste originating from partial degradation of the primary ones. It can also be defined by its size, from microplastics – small particles (<5 mm) of plastic dispersed in the environment – to macroplastics.
What Causes Plastic Pollution?
To be honest about it, negligence on part of users and the very nature of the substance (Indestructible for generations) have given rise to worldwide plastic pollution that have also polluted our oceans. To be more specific, this pollution comes in the form of household waste consisting of discarded plastic wrapping material, empty plastic tubes, plastic take away food packets and such other substances.
How to Cope With Plastic Pollution?
The only way to cope with plastic pollution lies in reducing dependence on plastic. Do not carry things in single-use carry bags. In any case, this plastic item has been banned in most countries. What’s more, offenders in some countries are liable to pay heavy fines (Up to $4000) for the first offence. Also, discourage the use of plastic coffee cups and plastic cutlery from homes, offices and clubs. Last but not of least importance involves drinking bottled water. If all of us follow this principle religiously for at least a year, plastic pollution will be drastically reduced.