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The human being, with all the activities that he has been carrying out with intensity since the time of the industrial revolution (anthropic activities), is leaving a strong impact on nature. When we speak of anthropic activities, we refer to deforestation, burning of fossil fuels, intensive agriculture and livestock, and industries that emit greenhouse gases, among others. In addition to all these activities that are part of the capitalist economic system, we cannot leave behind other acts based on irresponsibility and lack of civility. That's where the concept of trash comes in, have you ever heard of it?
If you are interested in knowing more about it, continue reading this interesting article by Green Ecologist in which it is explained what is trash, are mentioned the projects that are carried out related to this concept and what are the solutions to end it and, thus, the contamination it entails.
What is garbage - definition
How many times have we walked through the countryside, in the mountains, on the beach or in any natural environment and have we seen trash remains. To all the waste that is generated by people and that is later waste dumped in nature, altering the balance and functioning of ecosystems are called garbage.
The term rubbish comes from the Anglo-Saxon word littering. This is so dangerous that it is considered one of the factors that intervene in global change and there are many reasons why we must fight to make it disappear.
These are some of the impacts that nature suffers from all the waste that we leave abandoned in it, that is, the consequences of garbage pollution in nature:
- All bodies of water, such as seas, lakes and rivers are already affected. This is a problem for marine animals and aquatic birds, since they mistake this waste for food and on many occasions the ingestion of this waste causes death. In the event that they do not die from this contamination, likewise, those residues that they have ingested, go to the next link in the food chain. Let us not forget that human beings eat fish and birds, among other animals, so we indirectly consume those residues that we have previously left abandoned in nature and that become part of these animals that we consume. Here you can learn more about the Causes and consequences of pollution of seas and oceans and about Pollution of lakes and rivers: causes, consequences and how to avoid it.
- Not only garbage is a danger for marine animals and birds, but for all fauna and flora that are part of the different ecosystems.
- It produces a strong visual impact on landscapes, this causes the loss of the economic value of homes that are in the most affected areas or that many areas lose tourist interest. For example, Venezuela is a country that is very affected by the large amount of garbage that accumulates in the natural environment, since this country does not have treatment plants to properly eliminate or recycle waste. It only has some landfills that when they cannot accept more garbage, in the end it ends up illegally deposited in green areas.
- It causes many of the wildfires that are generated. A badly extinguished cigarette or a glass container exposed to the sun can start a fire.
- Trash that is thrown in the streets and on rural roads can end up clogging drains and, as a consequence, floods can be generated.
Garbage collection - projects
There are many projects that are carried out by different entities, which work with volunteers, in order to make the garbage collection in nature:
- Projects for the European volunteer service: Many of these projects are aimed at cleaning natural areas such as the collection of garbage on beaches and mountains. Volunteers participating in these projects must belong to the European community and be under 20 years of age.
- Libera Project: is a project that was born in 2022 in Spain and is created by the NGO SEO / BirdLife together with Ecoembes, the objective of this project is to address the problem of garbage with different actions such as: informing, preventing and promoting volunteering.
They are not the only ones projects that work to end trashThere are many more depending on the area where we live and they will be created by some entities or others. From here I encourage you to investigate and find out about associations or entities close to your place of residence that lead this type of project.
How to avoid garbage pollution - solutions for garbage
For avoid rubbish or avoid pollution by rubbish Various solutions can be given, ranging from prevention to participation by citizens:
- Prevention: reach the entire population through environmental education with workshops, informational events, awareness-raising and awareness campaigns, even reaching schools. With education we try to show the reality of how our waste damages ecosystems, as well as to give some guidelines for a responsible behavior with our planet. Another task to prevent the abandonment of garbage is putting more infrastructure in the most sensitive places to be able to deposit it.
- Participation: as citizens we can volunteer to collect garbage. However, we must take into account not only to collect it if we are part of a volunteer service, we must also do it when we go somewhere and see waste. We can always take a bag and pick it up, even if it is not ours, but it is a very simple gesture that helps to keep our natural spaces cleaner.
Learn much more about the topic of garbage with this other Green Ecologist article about Garbage Pollution: causes and consequences.
Facts about trash
In order for us to be more aware of the seriousness of this problem, it is important that we know some data that is collected in studies carried out in recent years on garbage and its impact on aquatic ecosystems:
- 80%, almost all marine litter, comes from terrestrial environments.
- There are already a minimum of 1,400 marine and freshwater species affected.
- 17% of the species affected by garbage is part of the Red List of threatened species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- 90% of seabirds have ingested plastic and, if things continue as before or even increasing, the number could reach 99% by 2050.
These data have been extracted from the website of SEO Birdlife, the Spanish Ornithological Society, an environmental NGO, although more focused on birds, that seeks the participation and involvement of society to conserve biodiversity.
If you want to read more articles similar to What is garbage: definition, projects and how to avoid it, we recommend that you enter our Pollution category.
- Projects for the European voluntary service: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en
- Libera Project (Ecoembes and SEO / BirdLife): https://proyectolibera.org/prevencion-littering-abandono-residuos/
- SEO Birdlife, Spanish Society of Ornithology, environmental NGO. Let's kill nature: https://www.seo.org/acabemos-con-la-basuraleza/