Environmental degradation is on the increase, and it is likely to affect the human race in the future. In light of this challenge, many environmental scientists have made several recommendations on how we can prevent destruction of our environment. In this case, several mechanisms can be used to keep the environment clean and safe from destruction.
Poor waste disposal is regarded as one of the key causes of environmental degradation. Waste disposal is not only limited to the disposal of industrial waste materials, but it also involves the items we use and discard daily. There are three basic strategies that can be used to reduce waste disposal and they include the following.
Waste Disposal Strategies
Reduce it, is the first strategy for reducing waste disposal, and it is the most important of the three strategies. This is because if people can decrease the rate at which they use various products, the amount of things to be recycled or reused will also go down considerably. Moreover, reduction of consumption will also make people to cut back on their expenditure on various products, and this can help in mitigating environmental pollution.
In addition, we should try to decrease the toxicity of waste products that are dumped in landfills. “Source reduction involves reducing waste at the source by designing, producing, and using items that are less toxic for the waste system” (Scott, 2007). This method of reduction can assist in conservation of resources, and decrease pollution. For example, goods can be produced and used in away that they do not affect the environment.
Reuse of materials is the second method of minimizing waste products. Apart from reducing consumption, we can also find alternative uses for the things that we have used. Besides this, we can also turn used items to other things, rather than recycling or discarding them. Reuse has the following benefits. First, it makes waste management easier since it reduces waste production.
“Secondly, the environment benefits because reusing items leads to less production, which reduces emission of pollutants, and resource harvesting” (Woods, 2010). People should try to be more creative in order to reduce waste materials. For example, a person can use old garments for cleaning or even mending other garments instead of discarding them. One shopping bag can also be used on many shopping occasions.
Recycling is the third strategy, and involves making of new products from the used ones. Unlike reusing, recycling requires many procedures. For example, the items to be recycled are collected and then taken for reprocessing. Recycling also demands energy, money, and other materials.
This makes it to be the least preferable method of waste reduction. Nonetheless, recycling decreases the use of landfills, and it also minimizes pollution. “R’s” will not eliminate environmental degradation, utilizing them will lead to a healthier environment” (Scott, 2007).
Solving Environmental Problems
Solving environmental problems has not been simple because of these factors. First, many individuals are ignorant about how to manage the environment. Secondly, poverty also makes environmental management complicated. This is because some people destroy resources such as vegetation, and trees in order to get income. The third impediment in this process is the high cost of implementing environmentally-friendly strategies.
Environmental degradation can be minimized through the three strategies, reduce, reuse, and recycle. “The solutions to all our environmental problems do not lie in the capitalistic mindset, the Judeo-Christian value system, or the male-dominated, white cultures of modern man” (McConnell & Abel, 2007).
The solution is embedded in the values that the indigenous individuals have, and their interaction with the earth. “But more importantly, the solution lies in aligning ourselves with the values of the millions of other species with whom we share this planet” (McConnell & Abel, 2007).
McConnell, R., & Abel, D. (2007). Environmental Issues: An Introduction to Sustainability. New York: Prentice Hall.
Scott, N. (2007). Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: An Easy Household Guide. New York: Chelsea Green Publishing.
Woods, K. (2010). Human Rights and Environmental Sustainability. London: Edward Elgar Pub.