What are some solutions to help with pollution?

1 Answer
Feb 9, 2017

There are many solutions that can aid in reducing or managing pollution dependent on the pollution type and the resources of those "helping" with pollution.


We have created countless pollutants that harm ourselves and the planet. Solutions that reduce or manage pollution are dependent on the pollutant itself and the resources of those "helping" with pollution.

Examples of large-scale solutions for the main types of pollution are below, but the impacts of other forms of pollution, such as noise, thermal, and light pollution, should not be ignored. Small-scale solutions, such as community recycling programs, local beach clean-ups, and carpooling also help, as do individual actions such as buying local, using reusable bags, shopping at thrift stores, and so forth.

Air pollution :
To reduce the amount of pollution, China is investing in renewable energy (see here).

The city of Detroit, Michigan is creating more green areas to buffer residential areas from pollution sources and to improve air quality (see here).

Air purification systems combat pollution and a new filter that is based on soy was recently created to capture carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and other dangerous chemicals (see here).

It seems that many companies in the United States handle air pollution by making it someone else's problem, locating their power plants and factories so that pollutants will spread into other states when possible (see here).

Water pollution :
In many countries, including the US, products containing plastic microbeads may not be sold in order to reduce the amount of micro plastic in the oceans and waterways (see here).

Laws and regulations that limit the amount of agricultural pollution (nitrogen and phosphorous) of waterways do so by limiting when fertilizers can be applied, requiring soil testing, mandating a distance between fertilizer application and waterways and groundwater sources, and imposing penalties when laws are broken (see here).

A nineteen year old developed technology that cleans plastic from the ocean (see here).

Land pollution :
As mentioned under water pollution, regulations on agricultural fertilizers, pesticides, and other problematic chemicals that protect waterways also reduce the amount of these chemicals leaching into and thus polluting soil.

London's Olympic Park was treated for soil pollution using bioremediation, where microbes biodegraded chemicals naturally (see here).

Recycling waste is a relatively well-known method of reducing pollution but it is still effective, systems have not been implemented everywhere, and certain items (batteries, electronics) can still be difficult to recycle. Rwanda recently announced it is opening an E-waste recycling company (see here).

Proper waste management facilities also reduce waste and pollution. For example, a proper garbage facility transformed this town in the Philippines (see here).

In some instances, it may be possible and logical to reduce the amount of pollution. For example, a city can place a ban on using dangerous insecticides and herbicides within a certain distance from riverine areas and wetlands, forcing consumers to choose other, presumably more environmentally friendly options. This would reduce the amount of dangerous chemicals being used on lawns, crops, gardens, etc which would then reduce the amount of these environmentally harmful chemicals polluting rivers, lakes, swamps, and so forth.

In other instances, reducing the amount of pollution may not be possible with current technology or funding and managing pollution may be the goal. For example, a community may want to reduce the amount of plastic that washes up on their beach, but that community doesn't control international shipping regulations and waste management laws in other countries. Organizing regular beach cleanups where materials are collected, sorted, and recycled may be a more feasible option.