Dr. Seuss once said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole, awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
This quote has always made me think about the environment in which we live. When I was around 13 years old, I began shadowing a City Environmental Technician. I quickly developed an interest in learning what I could do to help improve the environment – something most kids my age didn’t care anything about. I spent my high school years learning about issues that surround us and spreading environmental awareness. Although I did not end up choosing to pursue an environmental degree in college, I haven’t lost sight of how important it is to always strive to improve our planet.
Here are a few types of pollution we should all be aware of:
- Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution
This is an easy one to remember. Nonpoint source pollution simply means the source of the pollutants can’t be pinpointed. Unfortunately, this is something to which we have grown tolerant. We’re all guilty of contributing to NPS pollution, even if it’s not intentional. A few examples of NPS pollution include: oil leaks from traveling vehicles, cigarette butts, and animal waste.
The EPA writes, “NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters.”
- Point Source Pollution
As you might already be thinking, point source pollution is essentially the opposite of nonpoint source pollution. When defining point source pollution, the EPA says, “A point source is a single, identifiable source of pollution such as a pipe or a drain.”
- Stormwater Pollution
We don’t give enough attention to stormwater pollution. It is a common misconception that our storm drains are filtered; the reality is that whatever goes into our storm drains will eventually end up in creeks, rivers, or lakes. The EPA addresses this issue by writing, “Stormwater runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters.”
In honor of Earth Day, I challenge you to be part of the solution to communal pollution. Remember that by saving our environment, we are ultimately saving ourselves!
Happy Earth Day, friends!
“NPDES Stormwater Program.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 17 Nov. 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2017.
“Point and Nonpoint Sources of Water Pollution.” Environment Protection Authority Victoria. N.p., 27 July 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2017.
“What Is Nonpoint Source?” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 22 Apr.2017