Solutions for Our Environmental & Pollution Problem

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The United States has 4.5 percent of the world's population but produces 45 percent of the world’s automobile exhaust pollution.
The United States has 4.5 percent of the world's population but produces 45 percent of the world’s automobile exhaust pollution. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Pollution, global warming, deforestation, overfishing and a number of other environmental issues have put life on this planet at risk. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of steps that can be taken by individuals, businesses, governments and international organizations to curb pollution and take steps to limit greenhouse gasses and preserve endangered ecosystems.

Personal Solutions

All environmental solutions ultimately come down to individuals. Not only can individuals take steps to improve the pollution produced in their own home, but it is pressure from individuals that will convince businesses, governments and international organizations to make changes. In the home, individuals can help by recycling and composting, buying more energy efficient appliances, improving their homes’ insulations, buying environmentally friendly products and reducing their water use. Driving a more energy efficient car or, when possible, walking or riding a bike, will help reduce greenhouse gasses.

Business Solutions

Businesses can use many of the same solutions that individuals can to become more environmentally friendly. This includes buying more energy efficient machines, recycling, buying recycled and other green materials, cutting down on the use of paper in the office. Using Internet video conferencing to cut down on business travel is also helpful. Businesses can also encourage a greener planet by checking the environmental policies of other companies they do business with and ensuring that the goods and services they purchase are as eco-friendly as possible.

Government Solutions

Governments can do a great deal to encourage businesses and individuals to reduce pollution. Examples include tax incentives to buy energy efficient appliances and regulations to limit certain kinds of pollution and protect environmentally sensitive areas. Governments are also businesses though, in a way. Between the bureaucracy and the military, millions of people work for the U.S. Government. If the government ensured that government departments and agencies were as environmentally friendly as possible it would go a long way toward reducing pollution.

International Solutions

International cooperation is an essential part of reducing pollution and improving the environment. Because pollution travels in the air and water, it will do little good if one country reduces its pollution and other countries continue to increase pollution. Similarly, if one country stops hunting whales and other countries respond by hunting more whales, it won't do the whales any good. There is currently a, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, but other agreements need to be made and the treaties need to be enforced.

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