What are we Doing to Our Planet? By Iqra Hutchesons’ Grammar School Our Amazing Resources of Seas and Fresh Water? We are polluting them in many different forms, such as factory smoke, car fume, littering beaches and coastlines and, by accident, oil rig spillages occur as well. Metals and solvents from industrial work can pollute rivers and lakes. These are poisonous to many forms of aquatic life and may slow their development, make them infertile or even result in death. Petroleum is another form of chemical pollutant that usually contaminates water through oil spills when a ship ruptures. Oil spills usually have only a localised affect on wildlife but can spread for miles. The oil can cause the death of many fish and stick to the feathers of seabirds causing them to lose the ability to fly. Humans also pollute the seas by dumping rubbish such as plastic bags, tin cans and many more different forms. This is also affecting animals as they get tangled within the rubbish and are unable to survive Today, we are starting to realise that the ocean ecosystem as a whole is under tremendous stress from a variety of sources of pollution. By putting too much pollution into the oceans, humans are threatening to permanently alter the oceans and all life within them in ways we are only beginning to understand. Our Precious Resource of Air? Air pollution is occurring in different ways and we humans are to blame. This is because we are burning up fossil fuel such as coal and using up oil; we are burning them at a faster rate than the rate the are produced at. Climate change is also another point in which the air is having more unnecessary chemicals added to it. Even everyday resources such as cars are creating such an impact as the car fumes cause terrible damage to the air. Factories are doing exactly the same! Also burning plastic which is non-biodegradable causes a dangerous gas called gas co2. This causes extreme harm to the environment, humans and animals. Our air actually has more chemicals that it actually originally had. People smoking also cause significant damage too, as there are many chemicals and substances not suited to the air. Our Important Resource of Soil? With the rise of concrete buildings and roads, one part of the Earth that we rarely see is the soil. It has many different names, such as dirt, mud and ground. However, it is definitely very important to us. The plants that feed us grow in soil and keeping it healthy is essential to maintaining a beautiful planet. However, like all other forms of nature, soil also suffers from pollution. The pollution of soil is a common thing these days, and it happens due to the presence of man made elements. Chemical utilization has gone up tremendously since technology provided us with modern pesticides and fertilizers. They are full of chemicals that are not produced in nature and cannot be broken down by it. As a result, they seep into the ground after they mix with water and slowly reduce the fertility of the soil. Other chemicals damage the composition of the soil and make it easier to erode by water and air. Plants absorb many of these pesticides and when they decompose, they cause soil pollution since they become a part of the land. Finally, a growing cause for concern is how we dispose of our waste. While industrial waste is sure to cause contamination, there is another way in which we are adding to the pollution. Every human produces a certain amount of personal waste products by way or urine and feces. Our Essential Resources of Minerals? We are using up finite resources-sources of energy (coal, oil and gas) are beginning to run out as well as the useful minerals that are found in these substances that are very useful to have on earth. Most minerals are destroyed by chemical weathering (global warming) which we are not currently controlling as well as we should be, because in a few decades or centuries time, we are going to find that there are not enough sources for us to use if we do not act quick enough. Some examples of minerals are gold, silver or copper. It is estimated that gold will run out in 45 years time, and silver is due to completely run out in 29 years time, and copper will eventually run out 61 years! These minerals come from rocks, and once we have used them, they cannot be replaced. These minerals take millions of years to form and are non-renewable resources! Important Resource of Trees? We are cutting down trees to use for making paper, wood, fuel and many for many more reasons. However, we are cutting down a huge number of trees and, although trees are a renewable source of energy because you can plant one in place of the one cut down, we don’t think about it often and just cut the tree without really thinking about replanting it again. We cut down 3 billion to 6 billion trees per year. This causes less oxygen in the air, forces indigenous people out of their homes, damage to the ground and over all, it just looks ugly to see land without any trees and to see its natural beauty being deconstructed. In addition, once we cut down trees and make them into paper, most of us forget to recycle any paper we no longer need although now people try really hard to campaign save our trees, as it will be really hard to get trees back if we do not take care of them with proper care and plant one tree that is cut down. This is not just happening to trees but to all the vegetation in the forest.