The environment deserves our attention and care every day—but especially today, on World Environment Day, it’s important to spend even more time appreciating just how much the environment actually provides for us.
Protecting the environment helps to preserve species and their greater habitats, reduce excess carbon emissions, keep our waters clean, and maintain enough balance within the ecosystem to ensure a healthy world for future generations.
Unfortunately, there are a number of existing environmental issues that are contributing to the demise of our greater environment—often hindering the benefits provided by a thriving wildlife. As we reflect on the importance of this green holiday, it’s equally important that we acknowledge the problems too.
On World Environment Day, here are the four biggest environmental issues facing the U.S. today:
4.) Air Pollution
As our society has progressed technologically—with more room for large-scale companies, businesses, and heavily populated cities—the amount of pollution humans contribute has grown exponentially, as well. There are ways to address this—shifting to electric vehicles, reducing gas emissions, and even promoting remote work environments can encourage progress in solving many of the problems surrounding air pollution.
Statistically, each person in the United States requires an acre of land. With the country’s population continuing to grow each year, with massive influxes happening more within the past decade, this means that the demand for urbanization is higher than ever before. As a result, our forests and other natural land spaces are suffering. Overcrowding—which is a particular problem in major cities around the U.S.—is decreasing the quality of our biodiversity, and limiting the amount of untouched land throughout the country.
2.) Water Pollution
Globally, people dump a reported two million tons of sewage into waterways every day. And while dozens of environmental protection agencies are working to limit this excess waste and keep our waters free from toxins like pesticides and other chemicals, the reality is that worldwide, our waters have been severely damaged due to pollution.
This doesn’t just affect our wildlife—it affects us too. In the United States, dozens of abandoned mines are responsible for releasing unnatural pollutants into central waterways, with Colorado mines alone having contaminated a reported 2,300 kilometers of streams. The world’s primary bodies of water are also ridden with elements like micro plastics that can be difficult to remove, even through the most refined purification processes.
1.) Global Warming
Global warming is one of the most pressing issues facing not only our country, but also our greater world. Though the evidence of climate change has become increasingly visible in the United States, where forest fires and a notable spike in rising temperatures have become more prominent in recent years.