The environment that we live in and make use of is being stripped off its precious components day by day. There are many angles from which the problems of the environment can be studied. Similarly, many different views come into play, if we need to find practical solutions to these problems.
There are innumerable factors associated with the conservation of environment, and also these problems are interrelated. The activities as well as the lifestyle of human beings too play an important role in how the surroundings/environment is affected. Till date, it is one of the major factors that has affected the environment of the Earth, as it is in constant conflict with natural processes.
Solutions to Environmental Problems
Contamination of Soil
The soil is an important natural resource on earth. It is the medium used for growing crops which provides us with the necessary food. The contamination which alters natural composition of soil affects the food chain and thereby, the entire ecosystem. Use of chemical fertilizers is a major cause of pollution of soil. Contamination of soil is one of the important issues which needs to be dealt with a lot of care and responsibility.
Making use of organic fertilizers not only protects the soil from getting damaged, but also leads to the production of crops with less amount of toxic chemicals. Using organic fertilizers also provides wholesome nutrition to the plants/crops, which in turn benefits the consumers.
Now that the disastrous effects of indulging in meat-eating have been confirmed by United Nations and many different research organizations, we should rethink about what we consume. The greenhouse gases generated in order to produce food for a meat-eater are 7 times greater than those generated for a vegan diet. The above-mentioned stats reveal only the economic losses that result from meat-eating. The extinction of several animal species is the irreparable damage caused by this eating habit. Pollution and other environmental problems caused by automobile and industries seems negligible if compared with that resulting from meat-eating. Cruelty towards animals is another aspect associated with meat-eating which, no matter how important, can't be dealt in the context of information presented in this article.
Human beings have become so habitual to a non-vegetarian diet, that they consider it quite natural. However, following a vegetarian lifestyle can solve many of our environmental issues. Be it, pork, beef, or chicken, each of these food items have vegetarian substitutes available in the market. Seiten, tofu, legumes, or tempeh are a few of the available substitutes.
The foods that we consume originate mostly from the hybrid varieties of crops. Conservation of the natural/locally-found crop varieties is important from the point of conserving biodiversity. It is necessary to take proper steps in this direction, i.e., to conserve these local varieties. It has been found that local varieties are far more nutritious than those created by the method of hybridization. The hybrid varieties are created keeping in mind a certain objective, i.e., of increasing the yield, making the crop resistant to pests, etc. However, in the process of adding these characteristics, we lose out on the original genetic makeup of these crops. Steps should, therefore, be taken to conserve their local crop varieties.
The farming or production of local crop and grain varieties can be increased in order to conserve them.
This problem has prevailed for so many years and still we aren't able to find a satisfactory solution to water pollution. The indiscipline or lack of concern about disposal of industrial waster is an important factor responsible for this hazard.
Improvement in the recycling process is a possible solution for this problem. Implementing strict guidelines set by the local governing bodies pertaining to waste water disposal should solve the problem to a great extent.
Hazardous Waste Disposal
The disposal of hazardous waste materials has a long-term effect on the environment. Plants, animals, and human beings are all affected by this waste disposal. Different types of hazardous waste materials include pesticides, carcinogens, paints, solvents, teratogenic compounds, etc.
Proper treatment of these wastes before disposal is the solution to this problem. Stricter rules need to be implemented so as to prevent disposal of chemicals or harmful solvents into rivers and lakes.
Depletion of the Ozone Layer
The ozone layer protects living beings on earth from the ultraviolet rays of the Sun. This layer is becoming thinner day by day due to pollutants like nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide. Apart from the depletion of ozone layer, these emission of gases also causes several health problems.
Keeping a check on harmful emissions (into air) is the solution to protect the ozone layer. Use refrigerators that are free from CFCs. Make it a point to use natural products for cleaning.
The topic of environmental problems and their effective solutions is quite complicated and difficult to understand, given the complexity/interrelations of different components of the ecosystem. It is, however, the attitude/approach of human beings towards using the natural resources that is going to influence the environment to a great extent. The knowledge of environmental ethics should also help in the conservation of natural resources.