Land and water are important natural resources. We use water every day for washing, drinking cleaning and irrigation. This water comes from streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. However, human activities have caused pollution of our water resources.
A great deal of water pollution is caused by industrial chemical wastes such as factories that produce soap and detergents. Sometimes the wastes leak out and contaminate the environment or the water supply. Contaminated water cannot be used for drinking or washing. Expensive purifying measures must be undertaken.
Water for drinking must be purified. Water purification takes place in special plants where water is filtered to remove particles and then treated to kill bacteria and other harmful organisms. Even though water is a renewable resource, there is a limited amount of fresh water. Most of the earth’s water is in the oceans. Thus, water especially fresh water, must be conserved. Make sure that the faucets in your home do not leak.
As early as 1556, people were complaining about the effects of mining on the environment. Their concerns were similar the once we hear today.
A rock which must be removed from a mine but has no commercial value is called waste rock. Waste rock is one of the major pollution problems of mining today. It is generally unsuitable for farming or other uses.
Quarrying and mining, particularly strip mining, leave soil unprotected and accelerate erosion. Attempts are being made in some places to refill strip-mining areas with topsoil and to plant vegetation on it to reduce the damage. When mined areas are not refilled, erosion follows.
A man contributes to dump waste and garbage on land every day, land pollution worsens. Land pollution may be caused by solid wastes, which include bottles, cans, food wrappers, plastic and paper materials, and other products thrown away. Only biodegradable wastes, such as scrap food, can be decomposed by bacteria and other organisms.
Other waste products such as glass, metals and paper, be reused or recycled. Recycling will reduce the need of burning or conserve spaces in landfills. Organic wastes may be converted into compost materials in your backyard.
Soon there may never be an available site where we can bury our solid wastes. We must begin to reuse much of the waste we now discard. These include minerals such as lead, tin, chromium, nickel, aluminum and manganese.
A more careful disposal of throw-away items can help us cope. Reduce the volume of solid wastes. This will help ease the environmental pollution and its subsequent effect on people’s health. Careful segregation of paper, glass, and metal waste will enable us to reuse or recycle many of our natural, nonrenewable resources.
Newspaper drives have been conducted for years to recycle paper. Many beverage companies pay for the return of aluminum cans to be recycled into aluminum sheets. Most beverage companies requests the return of glass bottles for reuse.
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