There are many personal behaviors in environmental and occupational health that an individual practice but have harmful effects on the environment. These behaviors include lifestyle manners of a person concerned with physical, chemical, and biological factors that affect the environment. Students in environmental and occupational health are supposed to undergo science-based education that encourages practical applications that leads to a healthy and safe environment, but lifestyle behaviors are often a recipe for environmental degradation. This paper is going to discuss lifestyle behaviors such as fruit farming, daily use of a car, and consumption of ref meat which have a momentous impact on the environment.
Environmental Impact of Personal Lifestyle: Eating Fruits
One of my lifestyle behavior is the love of eating fresh fruits every day. I use them in meals and snacks as I need them for the body to function well and stay healthy. The mode of production of these fruits until they are ripe and appealing affects the environment. Fruits are produced all over the world, and the process that farmers go through in its production is immense that the environment is impacted adversely. Whenever I wander through fruits markets, I am carried away by the nutrition content, taste, and the appearance of the fruits, but I usually do not think about how the environment was impacted in terms of commodity production and means used to reach the market. The production of fruits involves raising or growing practices, packaging and shipping which all involve the emission of greenhouse and other carbon gases which harmfully affect the environment.
Furthermore, fruits are grown using methods that involve the use of pesticides and chemicals fertilizers. With the onset of diseases and pests, farmers fear losing their fruits thus the use of pesticides to prevent diseases and pests is mandatory. According to Flint (2018), pesticides are necessary for the control of pests, rodents, and germs in both commercial operations and home gardens when plants are growing up, and with the development in the agricultural sector, there is a rise in pesticides use during fruit cultivation. The pests are eliminated through this, thus, the farmer can bring the pest population under control. This method of farming is harmful to the environment because the application of insecticides does substantial damage to the environment, users, and the consumer.
Environmental Impact of Personal Lifestyle: Driving a Car Always
I love driving my car whenever I want to go out. I bought my car a couple of years ago and had been using it ever since. It assists me to cover both long and short distances, but the kind of impact that such a lifestyle has on the environment is enormous. For instance, car pollution has an effect on the environment because it leads to the destruction of the ozone layer. This is because the level of pollutants released to the atmosphere and air through this lifestyle is massive. Exhaust fumes released by my car to the atmosphere contains toxic levels of lead, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, Sulphur, and carbon monoxide and are harmful to the environment. These pollutants escape from the exhaust pipe every time I switch the engine on. Also, these pollutants compromise the quality of air in the environment which leads to diseases when humans breathe the polluted air into their lungs.
Emissions from my car also have an impact on the environmental health of animals and plants. They contribute to the acid rain because of the formation of acid rain which is attributed to pollutants such as sulfur and nitrogen oxides present in the exhaust fumes. Acid rain is harmful to the environment as it causes statues, bridges, and buildings to fall apart due to the high levels of acid that corrodes them. Additionally, acid rain raises the pH level in water bodies which harms all the aquatic life. Acidic rain also destroys the soil and the roots of trees because it leads to accumulation and build-up leading to high acidity of the soil. When roots are destroyed, trees dry up since it cannot get adequate nutrients and water from the soil. Lastly, emissions from my car lead to global warming since the engine combustion results to the emission of carbon dioxide which acts as an umbrella in the atmosphere and traps heat, a phenomenon called greenhouse effect.
Environmental Impact of Personal Lifestyle: Frequent Consumption of Red Meat
Red meat has been my favorite meal for many years now. Despite the concerns associated with red meat such as metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, I still eat meat every day. These concerns are harmful to the consumer and are brought about by the administration of hormones by farmers to their livestock to accelerate weight gain or boost the production of milk. Meat production has a grievous impact on the environment. For instance, Godfray et al. (2018) note that the production of meat emits more units of energy as compared to foods from plants as energy is lost at every trophic level. Meat production also leads to the emission of nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming (Godfray et al., 2018).
Furthermore, beef production involves the use of grass in extensive systems and grazing has a multifaceted effect on carbon budgets. Direct emissions from animals due to erosion and farming practices such as overgrazing are harmful to the atmosphere. Grasslands store carbons but are released through microbial respiration and leaching which are attributed to overgrazing. Natural events such as change of land use, fires, and droughts as well as poor management of grazing farms are responsible for the quick release of carbon into the atmosphere, thus causing climate change.
Long-Term Environmental Consequences: Behavior 1
Farmers have made use of pesticides to kill pests that infest fruits trees thus increasing agricultural yields, yet they cause a lot of damage and harmful impacts on the environment. For instance, pesticides applied to crops depict long-term residual effects while others lead to acute impact on aquatic life. When fruit trees are sprayed with insecticides, they contaminate the groundwater, soil, air, food products, and surface water. This leads to pollution of water, air, and land thus the human being becomes affected since such causes reproductive disorders, endocrine disruption, respiratory and skin diseases as well as cancer. Many scientists have raised concerns caused by insecticides to the environment. For example, use of insecticides affects birds and insects which are beneficial in the environment.
Also, persistent use of pesticides in fruit farming has a ripple effect on the environment and the existence of species in communities. Ahmad and Matma (2018) note that the continued use of pesticides has a massive chemical assault on the environment which is a threat to the survival of many insects, fish, birds, and tiny aquatic organisms that are vital in the food web. Furthermore, pesticides reduce the diversity of species in the animal kingdom and add to the decline in the population of plants and animals because of impaired reproduction, reduced food supply, and destruction of natural habitats. Also, pesticides may eliminate species that play a crucial role in the ecosystem hence a dominance of an undesired species is promoted or a decrease in the variety and number of species present in a community. This may lead to disruption of food webs, thus a break in the existing dietary linkage between the species is realized. Lastly, persistent pesticides harm sensitive plants in forest nurseries thus the growth potential of the future seedlings is diminished.
Long-Term Environmental Consequences: Behavior 2
The production of a car leaves a massive footprint in the environment because of the materials required. For instance, new car needs paints, plastics, glass, rubber, and steel. All these materials must be created by used of resources from the environment before a car hits the road, and the consequences of these materials in the environment are enormous. Skrabec (2013) notes that automotive production requires a considerable investment in steel and rubber as these are necessary to give the car a tough ride. Iron is a component used in the manufacture of steel and during mining, the environment is destroyed because it involves a lot of excavation. Also, when solutions of iron reach the water table, it pollutes the water in the ground, affects soil profile, and small particles of iron cause air pollution.
Furthermore, petroleum products consumed by vehicles are red flags in the environmental before combustion. Their extraction from the earth consumes a lot of energy that leads to the damage of ecosystems. Extraction activities, mining, and expanded drilling causes a lot of damage to the environment and uses large volumes of water leading to further potentially damaging ecological impacts. Shipping fuels require a lot of energy and occasionally cause oil spills which impact aquatic life.
The end of the life of a car marks another environmental impact since materials such as toxic battery acid, plastics, and metals remain in the environment for an extended period especially when recycling efforts are minimal. Priest and Sanchez (2012) note that the non-reusable parts of a car such as glass, foam, fabric and adhesives makes up to approximately 25 per cent of the car's weight are a source of pollution if not well disposed of. Individuals and companies may lack the financial ability to dispose of these materials properly and are an eyesore. Additionally, the cost of disposing non-reusable parts and recycling efforts are harmful to the environment because vehicles and machines which consume fuel and emit toxic substances are required to transport the parts to landfill or recycle other parts.
Long-Term Environmental Consequences: Behavior 3
Meat production is a water-intensive exercise that leads to a long-term impact on the environment. Godfray et al. (2018) posit that agriculture uses a lot of water more than any other human activity, with approximately a third of this used in livestock keeping practices. The water used in livestock are drawn from the ground, lakes, and rivers, and livestock farmers compete with aquatic ecosystems which rely on the same water for survival. Also, feed production for animals needs a lot of water for use in feed mixing and drinking. The withdrawal of water has significant effects on water resources because increased use of water in livestock farming leads to the severe depletion of the aquifer. Additionally, phosphorous and nitrogen in animal manure are instrumental in contributing loads of nutrients found in ground and service water which harm aquatic ecosystems as well as humans.
Intensive livestock production uses manure lagoons and has high concentrations of pathogens, toxins, and nutrients thus pose a risk to ground and service water. Another broad way in which meat production affects the environment is the conversation of land to agriculture because grasslands and natural habitats are converted to arable lands to produce soya and grain for livestock consumption. Some places have witnessed the destruction and conversion of forests into lands for commercial cropping and cattle ranching. Overgrazing also affects biodiversity which deleteriously affects the drylands because livestock causes a plant rip-off as compared to wild animals thus reduces the diversity of plant species. A further loss in biodiversity and soil erosion is seen when livestock trample on slopes and reduce the plant cover.
Mitigation Measures: Behavior 1The people and the environments are on the receiving end of the use of pesticides in agriculture. To stop this, the purchase of loca...
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Essay:
How does the production of fruits impact the environment?
Fruit production often relies on methods involving pesticides and chemical fertilizers that are harmful to the environment, emitting greenhouse gases during production, packaging, and shipping processes; further contributing to environmental degradation.
What are the long-term impacts of lifestyle behaviors like these on our environment?
Long-term impacts of lifestyle behaviors that contribute to pollution include persistent pollution and damage to the environment. Fruit farming using pesticides can contaminate water, air, soil and harm both human health as well as wildlife and ecosystem health; car production involves extracting resources for energy consumption which degrades the environment further; meat production leads to greenhouse gas emissions, water depletion pollution as well as conversion of natural habitats causing biodiversity loss and soil erosion; all contributing to further pollution of our earth's resources.
Are there any mitigation measures to reduce the environmental impacts of these lifestyle behaviors?
Yes, individuals and societies alike can take measures to mitigate climate change impacts. When it comes to fruit farming, supporting local and organic produce can reduce pesticide usage while also lowering transportation emissions. When it comes to red meat consumption, adopting more plant-based diets or decreasing meat consumption is a proven way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and land conversion impacts significantly; sustainable farming practices like regenerative agriculture may be implemented in order to mitigate its environmental impact.
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