It is no secret that the environment is constantly changing in response to human activity. The biophysical ecosystems and environments, biodiversity and natural resources have been directly and indirectly affected by human activities and have led to problems such as environmental degradation, global warming, mass extinction, ocean acidification, ecological collapse and loss in biodiversity. The environmental modifications we inflict to ensure our society’s needs are met are causing drastic effects, especially as humans continue to overpopulate. The main activities that are inflicting the most damage are the following.
The environmental impact of agriculture really depends on the practices our farmers follow. Other variables in the climate, such as temperature and rainfall, contribute to the indirect effects caused by farming systems. Just some of the negative effects farming has on the environment include deforestation for crop growth and for raising meat, pesticide and herbicide pollution, soil degradation, overfishing, and waste production. The foods we eat and the way we farm food is going to have to change to remain sustainable enough to support our species.
The ways humans harvest and consume energy has a diverse impact on our environment. Using fossil fuels leads to global climate change and is highly polluting. Unfortunately, many places around the world aren’t changing their ways even though we have created a number of alternatives. If we focused on using more renewable energy to power vehicles, our homes, and large industries, then we would be doing ourselves and our planet a massive favour.
Many of the products we use have a negative impact on the environment either due to how the product is made, the waste produced or how it breaks down after it has been used. Examples of products are cleaning products, nanotechnology, paint, paper, leather, plastics, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. There have been many man-made products that have damaged the environment to the point where it put us in danger or has caused noticeable damage. In most of these cases, laws to limit the use of these products or even ban them completely have been introduced.
Introducing any new species, whether it’s a plant or animals, into an environment that wasn’t their originally can and has caused some drastic effects to that new environment. Some of these effects can be good and the introduction of the invasive species may be to benefit the environment, but more often than not, the effects the species have are negative and don’t go to plan. This has led to the loss of native species. These introductions have also caused genetic changes in situations where organisms have interbred.
The human population has a huge effect on the environment and will multiply many problems we face. If population growth was more sustainable, then our planet would have a much better chance of recovering from our damaging actions. Making sure we grow and survive around the natural environment, eat more sustainably, reduce our waste production, and if we do expand into the natural environment, carry out necessary ecology surveys, are all ways to help lessen the impact our species has on the environment. Ecology surveys are especially important as they can calculate the potential impact of building on an area. This is something that specialists such as Ecology by Design provide and is a must for anyone looking for a detailed report on their land.
The raw population size of humans isn’t the only factor of our species environmental impact. Measuring the sustainable capacity by using an ecological footprint can help us monitor and control our use of resources. Every individual’s lifestyle and pollution they generate are all equally important. If overconsumption continues over a prolonged period of time, the degradation of the environment and resource bases eventually diminishing will shortly follow.
It is no secret that many of our actions have consequences that follow. In most of these cases, altering our ways would be able to help our planet a lot, but trying to implement these changes is the next big step we as a species need to pursue.