Pollution is contamination of the natural atmosphere by human activity. The source of this contamination can be a man-made chemical, a natural mineral, biological waste or any form of energy, such as sound. Pollution is everywhere; we cannot miss it. It is responsible for damage to plant and human health, and to the natural atmosphere. In no way can pollution be completely avoided in day-to-day life. However, with preventive measures this can be minimized. Barry Commoner, an American biologist, has also said, “Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented.”
Before proceeding to find out tips for reducing pollution, it is worthwhile to explore which constituents of the natural atmosphere gets polluted and how. Water pollution is the first form of pollution. It is a result of contamination of water bodies, such as lakes, rivers, ocean or underground water resources. The pollutants, after different human activities, mix with water. Similarly, industrial waste, after industrial production, discharges directly to these water bodies, without treatment of it. These pollutants cause water pollution.
The second type of pollution is air pollution. Air pollution is caused due to the presence of chemicals, dust, poisonous gases and bacteria in the air. Gaseous discharge after different biological activities mixes with air, which causes air pollution.
Third type of pollution is soil pollution. Soil pollution is caused by direct discharge of industrial waste to water bodies. The leakage of atomic radiation from nuclear plants also causes soil pollution. Mixing of dissolved organic carbon in water can cause soil pollution as well.
The fourth type of pollution is sound pollution. Sound pollution is caused due to sound amplifiers and blowing of horns. All these types of pollution are results of irresponsible human activities.
Martin Cruz Smith, an American mystery novelist, has said, “Normal human activity is worse for nature than the greatest nuclear accident in history.” It is therefore clear that a little restraint observed by every individual, in his or her day-to-day life to minimize pollution, will yield tremendous results. For example, smoke from vehicles, domestic cooking and industries causes air pollution. If we apply smoke filters in houses, smoke treatment apparatuses in industries and smoke filters in vehicles the air pollution can be minimized to some extent.
Here are a few tips for reducing all kinds of pollution.
Walking or bicycling for short distances will help reduce air pollution, as will car pooling for the commute to and from work. This will save fuel and avoid smoke in the air from vehicles.
Use of solar power for lighting and heating of water in houses can also help cut air pollution. Solar power will minimize electricity use. The reduced requirement of electricity will minimize burning of fossil fuels, which will reduce pollution in air.
Use of chemical manures causes soil pollution. The use of compost manure in place of chemical manures will reduce soil pollution. It is advisable, therefore, to use compost manure in kitchen gardening and other agricultural activities.
Kitchen waste and drainage matter thrown in the open can cause both air pollution and water pollution. The organic part of this waste can be separated and buried in a pit to produce organic manure. The inorganic part remaining can be sent for treatment. Taking these measures can help reduce air and water pollution.
Plastic bags, after use, when burned, cause soil and air pollution. Using paper bags instead of plastic bags will reduce soil pollution and air pollution. Similarly, use reusable bags to bring lunch to work, as opposed to disposable ones.
Farmers use pesticides to protect plants and crops against insects and pests. These insecticides, when used in excess, cause pollution of the air and water. It will be advisable to use these insecticides as little as possible.
Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury. Normally, these bulbs when spent, are dumped in open space. Once this mercury dissolves in water or mixes in soil, it may cause water and soil pollution. These damaged fluorescent lamps should be sent for recycling.
Avoiding using sound amplifiers and car horns (except in unavoidable circumstances) will greatly help reduce sound pollution.
There are numerous other tips useful for reducing pollution. They are extremely important, and you just have to find them.