Why do we need to get involved?
We need to inform future generations on how to develop habits that care for our environment. This includes finding solutions to the issues like overconsumption and the buildup of trash. This site aims to help us limit the impact we can have in our own future.
One of the major factors that has led to global climate change has been overconsumption of natural resources. The impact of overconsumption can be seen in different areas such as forests, coral reefs and fish stocks. All three areas are being depleted, and as a result, various species are now considered in danger of extinction. Another aspect of overconsumption has to do with great amounts of fossil fuels being consumed. The overconsumption of fossil fuels leads to an extreme amount of carbon emissions, resulting in global warming, which in turn result in melting icebergs, rising sea levels, and the depletion the ozone layer - which protects us from solar radiation.
Consuming things we do not need leads to large production of trash. This trash always ends up in the ocean. It is often so lightweight that it is blown away into rivers, drains and the ocean. When litter is thrown into the street, rain moves this plastic waste into drains that lead to the ocean, even the products we use on a daily basis are flushed down the toilet and end up in the ocean.
Plastic, which is the type of trash that causes the greatest harm to the environment, takes 1,000 years to disintegrate. The Great Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Garbage Patches are places where plastic trash is evidently harmful. Trash causes changes in the natural food chain, leading to the extinction of certain species. It has an even greater impact on the environment as the chemistry of the water changes, harming overall population health. Of particular importance, are derelict fishing lines, which float below the water's surface and become a serious threat to underwater species. Wildlife habitats are also affected because trash collects at the bottom of the ocean, physically destroying ocean habitats such as coral reefs.
Trash can also damage groundwater resources, in particular; plastic toxins can contaminate groundwater resources that provide drinking water for people. Examples of such issue can be seen in China, where the water in some areas is not drinkable due to pollution; and in Africa, where the drinking water is limited due to the impact Europeans had in the 1900s.
Techniques used to dig for resources have also washed away fertile soil to the extreme of eliminating water banks. An example of this is the Belgian Congo, where the forest was depleted and local species had to migrate, affecting the food chain and food web, placing additional stress on remaining species.
So the main question we need to ask ourselves is: "What can I do to fix this?"
Written by AP Biology class 2019-20