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Problems that affect the environment

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Our planet is in trouble. There are problems that affect the environment: air and water pollution, acid rain, global warming, destruction of rain forests and other wild habitats. Unfortunately, it is humans who have caused these threats.

How serious is the problem of pollution?

The air, water and soil of habitats all over the world have been and are still being polluted in many different ways. This pollution effects the health of living things. Air is damaged by car and lorry fumes, and power stations create acid rain which destroys entire forests and lakes. Oils spills pollute sea water and kill marine life. Chemical waste from factories and sewage works, artificial fertilizers from farmland pollute river water, killing wildlife and spreading disease.

What can be done to solve the problem of pollution?

Obviously, we should try to use less energy by switching off lights when rooms are not in use, not wasting hot water, not overheating rooms and boiling more water than necessary when making a cup of tea. Moreover, we should use a bicycle or walk instead of using a car for short trips. Furthermore, it is desirable to buy “environmentally-friendly” products which do not contain dangerous for the environment substances. Just make a small step forward - this will be your contribution.

How serious is the problem of waste?

Humans create a lot of rubbish! For example, each household produces about 1 tonne of rubbish on average every year! Most of this is taken away by dustmen and buried in enormous landfill sites or burned on special plants. Unfortunately, burying waste as well as burning it can be dangerous for the environment because of poisonous substances and gases which pollute the atmosphere.

What can be done to solve the problem of waste?

Not all rubbish is rubbish. Furthermore, a lot of what we throw away could be used again. Moreover most part of the waste can be recycled. Apparently, we just need to sort out rubbish. Much of it is made up of glass, metal, plastic and paper. Obviously, we should sort out our rubbish. Organic matter: potato peelings, leftover food, tea leaves etc. Can be transferred straight to compost in the garden and used as a good, natural fertilizer for the plants. Furthermore, aluminium cans, glass bottles, and newspapers etc. can be taken to special banks. Moreover, we can take our old clothes to charity shops or return to textile mills for recycling. To help save trees we should use more recycled paper. What is more important, we need to refuse to use plastic carrier bags offered by supermarkets. It is hard to recycle plastic as it takes hundreds of years to break down, thus being too dangerous for animals. Instead we can use long lasting shopping bags.

How serious is the problem of rainforests?

Rainforests are valuable habitats. About half of all the species of animals and plants in the world live in rainforests. Moreover thousands of rainforest plants contain substances that can be used in medicines. Large areas of forest have been destroyed to make soya fields to feed the cattle. Rainforests help to regulate the world’s climate and atmosphere. To sum up, mankind won’t be able to do without rainforests.

What can be done to solve the problem of rainforests?

People should avoid buying products, made up of tropical hardwoods (for example, certain types of timber). In most developed countries people try not to buy imported rainforests flowers (orchids) or animals. Moreover, some people don’t buy meat of animals fed on soya or eat burgers from this meat in protest, because soya is grown on the area which once was rainforests. They advise eating veggie burgers for a change. This could be our contribution to saving rainforests.



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