Land pollution, a serious global issue, impact humans worldwide. A study by Cornell University estimated that pollution is the underlying cause for up to 40 percent of all deaths worldwide. Land pollution often introduces toxins into the environment, some of which can accumulate in animal and human tissue. Even naturally-occurring chemicals pose risks, especially if great amounts enter the land in a short period of time. In these cases, the change comes too quickly for the land to recover. Land pollution is preventable. Simple measures can have a significant effect on reduction of land pollution.
Recycle Whenever Possible
Oftentimes, recycling uses less energy than manufacturing new products, thus reducing fossil fuel emissions, which can ultimately cause land, in addition to air, pollution. For example, recycling aluminum cans uses 96 percent less energy than creating a can from aluminum ore, according to the Clear Air Council. Other pollution reduction measures include decreasing the amount of printing done in businesses and at home. Rather than printing, use online backup or document sharing applications to reduce paper waste.
Integrated Pest Management
Agriculture is the primary cause of water pollution, which in turn contaminates the land as polluted waters wash over its surface, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The major pollutants are pesticides. To reduce pesticide use, farmers can use the best practices of integrated pest management (IPM). IPM uses non-pesticide methods such as crop rotation to eliminate pests. Crop rotation involves planting crops in alternate years. For example, a farmer may plant corn one year and then in the following year plant soybeans. Pests specific to corn will not infest the soybeans and will die off from lack of food. Pesticide use is eliminated, and land pollution reduced.
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Reduce Fossil Fuel Emissions
Fossil fuel emissions pollute not only the air, but the land and water also. Sulfur dioxide emissions combine with moisture in the air to create acid rain. Acid rain acidifies soils and waters, sometimes to the point where the land cannot recover without human intervention. Polluted lands become ecological dead zones, unable to support plant or animal life. By reducing fossil fuel emissions, the source of acid rain is eliminated.
Each day, the average American tosses out more than four pounds of trash, much of it from packaging. By practicing green living, you can easily reduce the amount of trash you generate and reduce your carbon footprint. Rather than buying single-serving foods, buy in bulk. Eliminate junk mail by registering with DMAchoice to remove your name from bulk mailing lists (see References).