Human tendency has always been to subjugate our surroundings. We take pleasure in conquering and reshaping our environment as though it is beneath us and we are supreme. However, the simple truth is that humans are as dependent upon the environment as any other animals on the planet for our continued well-being. Therefore, if we harm our environment, we harm ourselves.

Health and Environment

Our physical, mental and social well-being is dependent upon our surroundings. What we put into the ecosystem is eventually cycled back to us. The pollutants we discard into this ecosystem find their way back through the air we breathe, the food we consume and the water we drink. Since we discard these pollutants because they are harmful to us, it follows that when we inadvertently consume them afterwards, they will still have harmful effects on our health.

Problems with this have been going on for quite some time. We use pesticides on our food crops because the chemicals kill the pests that could destroy the crops. However, those pesticides remain on the food when we consume them causing health problems ranging from skin problems to cancer. The pesticides also reduce the fertility of the soil ensuring that the next crop isn’t as bountiful.

Similarly, we discard human and industrial waste into whatever water body is conveniently close. But we also use the same water bodies for drinking water. Water pollution leads to diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, lead poisoning, polio and arsenicosis amongst others. The air is also polluted by all the gaseous emissions our activities release. Ranging from smoke from fires to emissions from vehicles and industries, these pollutants cause respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis and can even result in lung cancer.


Environmental scientists have been raising the alarm for some time, but things are very critical now. Our unchecked activities have had adverse effects on the ecosystem and some of that damage is now irreversible. If we do not step up to the plate, we will render the earth uninhabitable very soon.