Sustainable Living & Sustainable Lifestyle

For those who want to learn more about environmental challenges the planet faces, Earth Day provides the perfect day to start.

Earth Day Biggest Threats Facing the Environment (And Some Areas of Improvement)

For those who want to learn more about environmental challenges the planet faces, Earth Day provides the perfect day to start.

As Earth Day approaches on April 20, the globe continues to face many different environmental threats, underscoring the reason why Earth Day is still important for the planet. Thankfully, there are also areas where people can see improvements on environmental issues.

Earth Day presents a great opportunity for people to learn about the environmental challenges the earth faces. It can raise awareness about issues that the billions of people on the planet face every day, a key step toward finding solutions. It can lead people to make changes that reduce their own carbon footprint.

Researching any of the following topics can help you better understand the planet’s environmental problems and also better prepare you to contribute to potential solutions.

Areas of Concern on Earth Day

While the following does not come close to covering every sustainability issue facing the planet, it does include some of the biggest challenges that scientists and political leaders wrestle with on a daily basis.

Climate Change

The majority of scientists agree that climate change is the result of a wide variety of factors, some of which are the result of human actions. Those include putting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and agricultural operations. Climate change impacts many different areas, including extreme weather events, rising sea levels and loss of biodiversity.


Pollution of air, water, and soil has significant impacts on human health and the environment. Humans produce pollution in a variety of ways, including through manufacturing operations, transportation systems, agriculture and generating waste. Some pollutants such as plastics, chemicals and heavy metals persist in the environment for years and have harmful effects on living organisms. Types of pollution can include:

  • Air pollution. This results from emissions out of factories, vehicles and other sources that release harmful pollutants into the air.
  • Water pollution. Industrial waste, agricultural runoff and sewage discharge all contribute to pollute rivers, lakes, and oceans, damaging aquatic life and threatening human health.
  • Plastic pollution. Plastic waste can cause significant harm to marine life when it gets into waterways, lakes and oceans.


Deforestation involves the clearing of trees and other vegetation to make room for agricultural operations, new neighborhoods and other human activities. Destroying forested areas also destroys animal habitats, reduces biodiversity and contributes to climate change by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


Overfishing occurs in areas where commercial operations catch fish at a faster rate than the fish can reproduce, leading to the depletion of fish populations. This not only affects marine biodiversity but also impacts food security and the livelihoods of people who rely on fishing for their income.

Areas of Environmental Improvement

Many issues that are related to the environment and sustainability have improved in recent years, the result of a focus on the environment that Earth Day helps promote.

  • Renewables. The use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower has increased rapidly in many parts of the world.
  • Forest cover: Some regions of the world, such as Europe and North America, have seen increases in forest cover due to reforestation efforts and natural regeneration.
  • Air quality: In many countries, air quality has improved due to regulations on emissions from factories and vehicles, and a shift towards cleaner energy sources.
  • Protected areas. Many countries have established protected areas, such as national parks and wildlife reserves, to conserve natural habitats and biodiversity.
  • Environmental awareness: There has been an increase in global awareness of environmental issues, leading to greater public support for conservation efforts, and more widespread adoption of sustainable practices.

For those who want to do their part to help the environment, Earth Day provides a good day to start. You can make the first move by improving sustainability in your home.

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