5 Important Environmental Issues in the United States

The following is a guest post by Green Coast, a renewable energy and green living blog focused on helping you live a more sustainable life

Our environment is in dire need of drastic changes. Particularly from human involvement. The United States has long been criticized for over-consumption and under-optimization of improvements to reducing emissions. The United States is one of the largest consumers to no longer be involved in the Paris Climate Agreement. Also, fossil fuels continue to receive subsidies and governmental support.

There are several key environmental issues that the United States is facing, some more prevalent than others.

List of Key Environmental Issues Facing the United States

Let’s get into some of the most important environmental issues in the United States.

1. Consumable Waste Disposal 

The United States continues to lack proper disposal of both biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials. Recent news about China no longer accepting plastic and cardboard recycling is a huge detriment to America’s ability to continually and properly dispose of waste. The U.S. is a huge consumer of products and without proper disposal comes massive growth in landfills.

The contribution of this waste leads to potentially contaminated water, soil, and marine ecosystems.

2. Carbon Emissions

Carbon Emissions

The U.S. is the second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. First is China, which has a population more than 5x the size of the U.S. America is still significant, both population and geographically. Thus, they have to rely heavily on cars, trucks, planes, and other mechanical modes of transportation to move people or goods. This requires significant fuel, which the U.S. hasn’t yet fulling transitioned to cleaner, more efficient emissions.

3. Invasive Species

As a result of the mass migration of people to the U.S., so comes along other species believe it or not. An environmental issue remains the many species that migrate along to the United States that are not fit for this ecosystem and environment. America features a massive problem with invasive species such as zebra mussels, pythons, tree snakes, Japanese beetles, and more.

When these species invade the existing ecosystems, it causes disruption.

4. Electronic Waste

Used electronic products are one of the fastest-growing sources of waste. This is a significant issue because electronic waste (or e-waste) can cause serious health issues. This is a separate issue than regular waste disposal because the biggest culprits tend to be people simply not understanding proper disposal techniques. Electronics contain hazardous material such as flame retardants, lead, metal, and mercury. If e-waste is not properly disposed of, serious issues can arise within soil and water ecosystems.

5. Animal Conservation

In America, hunting is a national pastime and culture. Many flora and fauna have become extinct in North America, in general, as soon as mass human migration occurred. The United States has had a few wins by protecting the national bird, the bald eagle, from extinction. However, game hunting and growth in metropolitan populations have hurt the conservation of animals. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List, America has over 1,500 species on the threatened list. This means that these animals are critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable.

Conclusion on Key Environmental Issues

These five major environmental issues in America are very important to be aware of. Things like these issues move fast and require daily support mitigation. Start living a more sustainable life by making conscious decisions that will position the planet in a better place tomorrow than yesterday. We are indeed at a tipping point for our climate and environment.

What environmental issues impact you the most? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

Author Bio: Kyle is the Founder and Editor of Green Coast. Green Coast is renewable energy, and green living blog focused on the best tips to help you live a more sustainable life. Follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter.