A vast and complex subject, the effects of pollution can be seen in the environment. Discussing information and facts about pollution can help kids understand what's happening to the planet and the actions they can take to help mitigate the impact they have on the environment. By talking about pollution in an age-appropriate manner, you can help to educate kids about this important subject.
The Greenhouse Effect
While atmospheric gases helps to keep the Earth warm, too much greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, traps some energy released by the planet. This causes the Earth's temperatures to rise, making the planet warmer. One contributing factor to the elevated levels of carbon dioxide is the use of fossil fuels by humans. Called the greenhouse effect, this phenomenon has a definite impact on our natural environment. Not only does this raises the Earth's temperatures, it also contributes to climate change.
The impact humans have on the environment can be seen in our changing climate and weather patterns. Changing weather patterns causes more rain or snow to fall in some areas of the country, while other parts of the country have precipitation than in past years. High or low precipitation levels can contribute to flooding or drought situations. Higher atmospheric temperatures contributes to the oceans warming. As the oceans grow warmer, the risk of stronger tropical storms increases, sea levels grows and arctic sea ice amounts diminish.
As more gases and chemicals enter the atmosphere, it can affect air quality. Air pollution not only contributes to smog levels, but has a negative impact on human health. Those with lung and heart conditions as well as young children may find themselves vulnerable and sensitive to the effects of smog. Smog can affect a person's breathing and their ability to perform tasks on heavy smog days. Smog isn't always visible. Heed smog advisories by limiting the amount of time you spend outdoors.
Our everyday lifestyles pollutes our environment. Unwanted paper, electronics devices, consumer packaging, food scraps and construction supplies clog up landfills. Littering is another source of pollution. Throwing out disposable items such as coffee cups and food wrappers pollutes lakes and rivers and the natural habitat of wildlife. Reducing your consumption levels by not buying over packaged products or poor quality items can help to lower the amount of waste you produce. Recycle as much as possible.
Teaching children about conservation can help them to be active in reducing their own carbon footprint. Discuss ways with children about how they can help to conserve energy and water. Encourage kids to turn off lights and electronic devices when not in use. Examine ways they can reduce the amount of water they use by shutting off taps when brushing their teeth or timing themselves while taking a shower. Discuss alternatives to vehicle transportation such as riding a bike or using public transit. By making conservation a fun game, kids will be more incline to participate.