July 24, 2019

Causes of Earth’s Pollution

By Jessica Cantrell

Although we are well aware of the impact of this phenomenon on our environment, we rarely stop to think about what produces it and how we can have an impact, starting on a small scale from our homes.

In this post we propose to put a face to five causes of pollution and give you some guidelines to avoid it. It’s time to take seriously the health of our planet!

Main environmental problems

Thus, to address the phenomenon of pollution of the Earth in all its complexity, it is necessary to address the main environmental problems, among which we can highlight the following:

Pesticides and chemicals

Products used in agriculture and conventional industry release enormous amounts of greenhouse gases, which are direct causes of the deterioration of the ozone layer and climate change. They also damage the condition of the soils used for cultivation and water sources. In this sense, the World Health Organization points out the risk of the use of chemicals such as pesticides, due to their ability to remain in the water and soil for years. But it also points out that they can be toxic to humans.


Trees help to purify the air. However, in the last decades we have witnessed the disappearance of hundreds of forests around the world. It is estimated that every year an extension similar to the territory of Panama or Portugal disappears. Against this background, the effects of gases in the air are more noticeable and can cause serious diseases for terrestrial species.

And let’s not say, as our sons and daughters sometimes say, “I didn’t do it”, because the NGO Mighty Earth recently indicated that there is a close relationship between deforestation and food, since, for example, soybean monocultures are spreading (over 70% of world soybean production is used as feed for livestock).

Industrial and domestic waste

Mass consumption promotes industrial chain processes that overlook environmental protection. The waste generated after these processes is one of the main causes of pollution.

Fossil fuels

The excessive exploitation of coal, oil and natural gas, among others, generates high rates of pollution, not only in the air but in the environments where such resources are extracted. To date, no international convention has succeeded in drawing a clear line between sustainable development and care for the Earth. However, the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals do put the spotlight on this issue: promoting development that does not endanger resources and the well-being of future generations.

High rates of waste production

Our societies are characterized by high consumption of goods, which in turn generates a high level of waste. The more waste there is, the more damage it will cause to the Earth. Hence the importance of their selection.

Pollution of the Earth. What can we do?

The political and institutional initiatives against the pollution of the Earth are very positive. However, also citizens and families from their homes, we can help curb the effects of this phenomenon. How? Look at the following options:

Recycling the waste we generate daily. Recycling has two major advantages: on the one hand, reusing products that have already completed a first cycle of use; and secondly, sorting the waste to prevent those in charge of this task from investing more resources and time in it. Shall we start with something very simple? We can teach our children how to recycle correctly or show them that playing with recycled objects can be a lot of fun.

Using public transportation and other alternative means. Bicycles, electric cars or the metro are ideal for the sustainability of the planet, as they do not generate greenhouse gases.

Promoting responsible consumption. Buying new products should not be a habit, it has to respond to real needs. If we opt for a responsible consumption style, we will reduce the demand for certain products and, with this, companies will not use new natural resources and will reduce the levels of greenhouse gases they release into the atmosphere.

Join the requests that call for a more committed attitude from governments towards climate change, starting with the Spanish government. Like the one launched by Oxfam Intermón: sign so that the Spanish government contributes to what it has committed to so that the poorest people can adapt to the consequences of climate change that they have not caused.

Building an urban garden at home Home gardens not only help us to obtain healthier food for self-consumption, but they are also a good resource for raising awareness about the pollution of the Earth. Know what you can plant in spring or what aromatic plants are ideal for your home garden, and dare to put one in your home!