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Our Activities Affect the Environment

The world around us is called our Environment. Any type of change that people make in the environment affects the animals, plants and the land. Some changes are helpful. Some may be harmful to the environment.
Clearing land for farming, construction of homes, roads, and shopping centers is helpful to people, but animal habitats and plants may be destroyed. Clearing of land may result in soil erosion and the eventual loss of top soil.
Land and air being affected
Pollution is another way by which our environment gets changed. There are many kinds of pollution: air, water, and land. Factories, cars, burning leaves and trash cause air pollution. Water pollution occurs when sewage, chemicals, fertilizers, and trash are dumped into water. Oil spills in our oceans are a definite cause of water pollution. Litter is one of the ugliest kinds of pollution. It is everywhere! Waste materials need to be disposed off properly in specified areas.
Laws have been passed to help stop pollution. As people become more aware and more concerned our environment will benefit.
Oceans being affected
Human activity can affect the ocean and the creatures that live in it in many different ways, but the three main ways are:
  • Harvesting sea foods
  • The impacts from our activities on land
  • The introduction of marine pests
It’s not just activities that we do in the sea that effects the marine environment – it is also things we do on the land.
It is natural for things to be washed out to sea by rivers and by heavy rain. But some land uses also increase the amount of soil (or run off) washed out to sea. It has been estimated that 390 million tonnes of run-off enters our marine environment each year. Run-off can include chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides that are harmful to our marine environment and creatures.
Wastewater and sewage can also have a bad impact on the marine environment. Sewage must be treated properly to reduce the impact it has on the environment, but even individual actions can pollute the ocean.
Most stormwater drains found on our streets run straight out to sea. This means that any chemicals and rubbish that flow down the drains when people wash their cars or paintbrushes on the street go straight out to sea.
Another way that our marine environment can be affected is by the introduction of marine species from other parts of the world. These species often arrive without us even knowing. Because we have lots of ships visiting our seas, it is easy for marine species from the other places in the world to hitch a ride and try to make the new place its new home. These new species may be a threat to the species that are already present. This can result in smaller populations of native species.

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