Environmental Science: FINAL EXAM

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is how biological systems remain diverse and productive.

Climate/Energy Change

How to sustain it?

  • we would have to reconstruct our society
  • create a utopia focused on sustaianability
  • we would have to acknowledge the impact
  • limit use of non-renewable resource
  • re-evaluate industrial agriculture
  • look for cleaner methods of fossil fuel
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Land pollution is the degradation of the Earth's surface caused by a misuse of resources and improper disposal of waste. Some examples of land pollution include:

  • Litter found on the side of the road

  • Illegal dumping in natural habitats

  • Oil spills that happen inland

  • The use of pesticides and other farming chemicals

  • Damage and debris caused from unsustainable mining and logging practices

  • Radiation spills or nuclear accidents

Air pollution is the contamination of air by smoke and harmful gases, mainly oxides of carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen. (And maybe by that smelly uncle.) Some examples of air pollution include:

  • Exhuast fumes from vehicles

  • The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, or gas

  • Harmful off-gasing from things such as paint, plastic production, and so on

  • Radiation spills or nuclear accidents

Light pollution is the brightening of the night sky inhibiting the visibility of stars and planets by the use of improper lighting of communities. Some examples of what causes light pollution:

  • Street lamps that shine light in all directions, instead of with a hood to point light downward toward the street.

  • Extra, unnecessary lights around the home

  • Cities that run lights all night long

Light pollution uses more energy (by shining more light up instead of down, meaning you need brighter bulbs for the same amount of light), may affect human health and our sleep cycles

Noise pollution is any loud sounds that are either harmful or annoying to humans and animals. Some exmaples of noise pollution:

  • Airplanes, helicopters, and motor vehicles

  • Construction or demolition noise

  • Human activities such as sporting events or concerts

Noise pollution can be disruptive to humans' stress levels, may be harmful to unborn babies, and drives animals away by causing nervousness and decreasing their ability to hear prey or predators.

Thermal pollution is the increase of temperature caused by human activity. A few examples of this include:

  • Warmer lake water from nearby manufacturing (using cool water to cool the plant and then pump it back into the lake)

  • Included in thermal pollution should also be the increase in temperatures in areas with lots of concrete or vehicles, generally in cities

These kinds of environmental pollution can cause aquatic life to suffer or die due to the increased temperature, can cause discomfort to communities dealing with higher temperatures, and will affect plant-life in and around the area.

Visual pollution is what you would call anything unattractive or visualing damaging to the nearby landscape. This tends to be a highly subjective topic. Some examples of visual pollution:

  • Skyscrapers that blocks a natural view

  • Graffiti or carving on trees, rocks, or other natural landscapes

  • Billboards, litter, abandoned homes, and junkyards could also be considered among three kinds of environmental pollution

Water pollution is the contamination of any body of water (lakes, groundwater, oceans, etc). Some examples of water pollution:

  • Raw sewage running into lake or streams

  • Industrial waste spills contaminating groundwater

  • Radiation spills or nuclear accidents

  • Illegal dumping of substances or items within bodies of water

  • Biological contamination, such as bacteria growth

  • Farm runoff into nearby bodies of water

These kinds of environmental pollution are linked to health issues in humans, animals and plant-life.


the combination of life forms and their interactions with each other and with the rest of the environment that has made Earth a uniquely habitable place for humans. Biodiversity provides a large number of goods and services that sustain our lives.

What can you do?

Since consumption of resources is a root cause of biodiversity loss, we can consume less and be more mindful about what we consume. We need to leverage our purchasing power to help protect biodiversity by consuming products that do not harm the environment. Ecolabels enable consumers to determine which products are green, safe, and environmentally sustainable. But because so many ecolabels have sprung up—in 2010, there were 400 different sustainability certifications available around the world—they can be confusing. Here are some of the most reliable and respected ecolabels to look for.

Look at the photo below: from far away, the photo looks as one whole, but when you look closely at the detail, it shows many patterns. This is like our earths biodiversity. As a whole we look in sync, but when you observe, there is many different types of people.

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Resource Use

  • Water

  • Adequate water supplies of high quality are necessary both for community use and local ecosystems. Communities and jurisdictions must work together to assure an adequate water supply to meet future needs.

  • Land, Forests, and Ecosystems

  • While providing a protective covering for soil, water, and the atmosphere, forests are also renewable sources of an endless variety of products. In a healthy ecosystem, policies and programs must balance economic and conservation needs. This highlights where communities have developed land use practices and businesses that both conserve ecosystems and enhance local economies.

Waste Management/ Recycling

what they have done to help thus far:

In doing so, we are contributing to a more sustainable world by:

  • advancing technologies to reduce waste

  • increasing recycling and reuse

  • creating even safer treatment and disposal options

  • developing sources of renewable energy

  • sharing the benefits of our learning and innovation with our clients and collaborator


  • develop clean and alternative ways to produce power that the threat of exhausting our natural resources is forever put to rest.

  • “reduce, reuse, and recycle” become the watchwords of every family and company in North America.

  • companies take a leadership position by investing in cleaner technologies so that air pollution becomes a thing of the past.

  • the environment is respected and every action is aimed at recovery and restoration.

  • Waste Management partners with its customers to use our knowledge and experience to their benefit and the benefit of the planet, leading them to new, sustainable solutions and working with every link in the supply chain to address the entire life cycle of a product.

  • Waste Management’s commitment to excellence and leadership has positioned us to deliver lasting solutions to the environmental challenges our planet will face in the 21st century.

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Life is a cycle. When we take too much from one area-another gets affected. One disturbance, or shift levels, effects the way our Earth works. We must realize how heavy impact on this Earth is and change our way of living in order to SUSTAIN our Earth.


"Sustaining Life on Earth." Sustaining Life on Earth. Convention on Biological Diversity. Web. 2 June 2015.

"Select an Area." Sustainability: Think Green Every Day. 2015. Web. 1 June 2015.

"7 Kinds of Environmental Pollution - Sustainable Baby Steps." 7 Kinds of Environmental Pollution - Sustainable Baby Steps. Sustainable Baby Steps, 2015. Web. 2 June 2015.

Arias-Maldonado, Manuel. Sustainability after Climate Change. 1 Mar. 2012. Web. 2 June 2015.

Goodlad, J. (n.d.). Environment and Sustainability 31, 2014.