Pollution has become such a threat to the health of humans, animals, and plants that people have taken notice and put forth efforts to protect the environment. Individuals, governments, and businesses alike are all working together to make small changes that can make a big impact on the problem of pollution.
"Reduce, reuse, recycle," for example, is a philosophy that fueled a movement in the 1970s, following on the heels of the first Earth Day in 1970. At the time, it was a small movement, but it has grown, and now, Earth Day is celebrated in nearly 200 countries around the world. The idea behind "reduce, reuse, recycle" is to cut back on the amount of trash people create. Even when trash is properly disposed of, it doesn't always break down in landfills as quickly as people think it does. This is especially true of plastics: We've become heavily reliant on plastic products, but they can take decades or even centuries to biodegrade, and in the meantime, they sit in landfills and pollute the environment. By reducing your plastic consumption, reusing plastic containers and bags when you can, and recycling everything you can, you can reduce the amount of waste that contaminates our environment.
Earth Day has been a great motivator for communities and organizations looking to make the world a better place. Many organizations and municipalities create cleanup programs around Earth Day as well as during the rest of the year. The goal is to encourage average people to do their part in picking up trash and fishing plastics out of the water. Bigger organizations may contribute to cleaning up oil spills and helping marine animals to recover from these environmental disasters.
Governments all over the world have begun to put laws in place to cut down on harmful emissions that cause air pollution. In the United States, the EPA was put in charge of regulating emissions, and this agency helps to enforce the Clean Air Act. The original Clean Air Act, established in 1967, created national emissions reduction strategies to protect public health as well as the environment. Amendments in 1977 and 1990 set more rigorous requirements for reducing carbon emissions and addressing problems like acid rain and ozone depletion.
It doesn't matter if you're just one person or part of a government or corporation: It's everybody's job to step in and find ways to reduce pollution in order to create a better environment. It's our hope that we can help you and your family, friends, and community find little ways to create healthy environmental habits so our world can be around for years to come.