Damage to the Environment as is an Inevitable Consequence of Improvement in Standard of Living

Geography Paper on Damage to the Environment as is an Inevitable Consequence of Improvement in Standard of Living



The improvement in the standard of living, mainly with respect to expertise and financial system, has resulted in damage to the environment around the world. Furthermore, enhanced economic development has caused environmental damage as people do not handle the materials used appropriately. This research paper will discuss valuable solutions that could ensure environmental protection regardless of the improvement in the living standard. Even though establishments could be initiated to tackle the problem of environmental damage, they cannot do it successfully if individuals do not take part fully and be their own managers. Attributable to population increase, even though development in productivity boosts the standard of living, it also results in environmental damage, mainly plastic trash, and a great need to address the problem.


Damage to the Environment as is an Inevitable Consequence of Improvement in Standard of Living

The improvement in the standard of living, mainly with respect to technology and economy, has resulted in damage to the environment across the globe (Omer 2265-2280). For instance, manufacturers have been forced to produce numerous merchandises to meet the demand of their clients. When people use most products such as soft drinks, they throw away the package, packet, or bottles anywhere. Failure of effective management of nondegradable waste heavily causes environmental harm (Fenger 13-17). It is evident that proper handling of waste materials starts from an individual effort. Although establishments could be put in place to handle the problem of environmental pollution, they cannot do it effectively if individuals do not participate fully and be their own managers. This paper will discuss effective solutions that could ensure environmental protection irrespective of the improvement in the living standard. Though difficult to address, environmental damage is a serious matter that should receive important consideration.


In the ancient times, the improvement in the standard of living was narrowly connected with the increase of consumer commodities (Bose 6-10). Nevertheless, with the speedy increment of the population and an increasingly consumer-oriented society, even though enhancement of productivity improves the standard of living, it also results in environmental pollution. This has been mainly elicited by the improper discarding of plastic trash. Studies affirm that the speeding up of productivity raises the amount and variety of merchandises while simultaneously arousing consumption hence leading to the generation of a huge quantity of garbage (Chatzimouratidis and Pilavachi 1074-1080). Plastic is one of the greatest environmental pollutants as it does not conk out easily.

It is apparent that air pollution is the greatest problem with regard to damage to the environment (Fenger 13-17). With improved standard of living, progressively more people have acquired vehicles, airplanes, and trains, and established industries, which result in increased production of air pollutants in terms of fumes and noise pollution. Excessive noise influences the activities and balance of animals’ and people’s lives negatively because of the resultant unbearable disturbance (Chatzimouratidis and Pilavachi 1074-1080). Moreover, the oil spills and dumping of waste materials from industries in water bodies lead to water pollution (Fenger 13-17). Water pollution causes the contamination of water bodies, for instance, rivers, groundwater, and lakes, which goes a long way to causing the extinction of some fish species, seabirds, turtles, and marine mammals, as well as other aquatic animals. Moreover, excessive use of chemicals, in addition to the inappropriate discarding of solid waste causes harm to aquatic animals and plants (Rehdanz, and Maddison 787-790). It is also apparent that the majority of forests and trees are being cut down to pave the way for the building of towns and major roads hence reducing agricultural lands tremendously. Since farmers are left with a small area for cultivation, they resort to the application of chemical fertilizers with the purpose of maximizing productivity; nevertheless, such practices result in the contamination of both water and soil.


According to research by Van Vugt, manufacturing of products usually leads to activities that damage the environment (169-170). Though this is an inevitable effect of improvement in the living standard, the usage of a huge number of products, which are not recyclable, is highly associated with the damage to the environment. The improper disposal of the used products, for example, plastic drink cans to the environment usually leads to its damage. Additionally, people normally dispose a huge number of polythene papers to the environment occasionally (Fenger 13-17). Chlorinated plastics have been found to introduce dangerous chemicals into the soil. When such chemicals seep into nearby sources of water, they bring diseases to the animals and plants that use the water (Rehdanz, and Maddison 787-790).

As the economy grows, the standard of living improves, and natural forests and countless trees are damaged by human beings to satisfy their basic requirements and luxuries (Fenger 13-17). On this note, the cut trees are used in making furniture and paper, in addition to the use of timber in the construction of houses to mention a few. Furthermore, with improved standard of living, people have the habit of relaxing under trees or engaging in mountain climbing for leisure. In the course of such activities, some individuals may decide to light fires, especially in the course of cold seasons. Sometimes people forget to put out such fires as they leave and this has in some instances led to forest fires where many trees get destroyed (Chatzimouratidis and Pilavachi 1074-1080). On this note, the environment is becoming worse each day because of human activities that emanate from economic growth (Rehdanz, and Maddison 787-790). If proper and extensive solutions are not implemented early enough in an attempt of protecting the environment, it might become impossible to address the challenges of desertification, air pollution, and resultant famines and deaths in the future.

To generate high returns, producers and factories are keen on their profits but inconsiderate of the safety of the environment (Veziroğlu and Şahi 1820-1825). The success of the economy is achieved at the expense of people’s wellness and the destruction of the environment. The deficiency of data on environmental protection may be one of the reasons behind the increasing damage to the environment with improvement in the standard of living. Some of the relevant authorities are only worried about economic improvement but pay inadequate consideration to environmental protection. Misapprehending the economic growth causes lack of environmental concern if persons and the establishments involved have a long-term emerging perception. Nevertheless, Veziroğlu and Şahi affirm that damage to the environment is preventable (1823-1824). Together with the advancement of technology and the living standards, the concerned authorities should play a significant role in handling the arising problems (Bose 6-10). Furthermore, producers and factories should reflect not merely on ways of boosting their profits but also societal gains in terms of environmental protection. If the relevant authorities and humans join hands in resolving the environmental issues, it will become easy to uphold the safety of the environment despite improvement in the living standard.


Increased urbanization is more likely to result in more environmental pollution in cities and other urban centers when judged against the rural regions. In addition, the polluted urban environment influences the well-being and quality of life of the residents (Veziroğlu and Şahi 1820-1825). For instance, metropolitan populations consume more food, power, and other manufactured goods than rural residents. With economic growth, the dissimilarity in consumption patterns has reduced as the rural inhabitants have better living standards; this has increased damage to the environment in both rural and urban regions. For example, city populations have had more automobiles which result in air pollution attributable to the gasses they emit (Fenger 13-17).

When people in the urban centers just throw away trash in the garbage, it commonly ends up in a sanitary landfill. The majority of electronics comprise non-biodegradable stuff, metals, and poisonous materials, for instance, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Over time, the poisonous stuff may end up polluting the water and plants that people and animals consume (Van Vugt 171-173). The poisonous stuff might cause all types of harmful impacts on health such as cancer, diarrhea, queasiness, and vomiting. If human beings and animals keep on consuming and drinking polluted food and water, the ingested poisons might build up in their bodies to overwhelming levels. Moreover, when people consume meat from such animals, they could receive the poisons, which may eventually influence their well-being negatively through diseases or even death (Rehdanz, and Maddison 787-790).

The field of waste and garbage management in urban centers is progressively significant from a global outlook of resource administration (Fenger 13-17). Environmental protection should involve recycling of waste, which is produced at a high rate with increased urbanization, for the creation of beneficial products. Waste recycling is not only essential to the environment but could be cost efficient through reducing the amount of space required for landfills and prevention of diseases in human beings and animals. Establishment of environmental management and garbage handling strategies could enhance the protection of the surroundings (Rehdanz, and Maddison 787-790). Better living standards come hand in hand with damage to the environment; nonetheless, people should ensure that they handle the trash in the best possible method to uphold environmental protection.


As greater yearn for material ideas for the enhancement of the standard of living builds, there could also be better cognizance as to how environmental safeguard could be enhanced (Omer 2280-2296). If effective measures are put in place, improvement in the standard of living will not have to result in damage to the environment. Notwithstanding, people are now aware of this fact and could employ it as part of their strategy; societies and administrations should be cognizant of both realities of economic development and environmental safeguard. The need to enhance the standard of living should be mindful of environmental protection (Rehdanz, and Maddison 787-790).

To aid in protecting the environment, individuals should not put techno trash in dustbins together with the rest of household refuse. The government and other stakeholders should establish recycling centers where people can take the techno trash (Rehdanz, and Maddison 787-790). Furthermore, individuals should start groups that specialize in the disposal of the trash. The economic expenses of handling waste are high, and are frequently incurred by municipal administrations; money could habitually be saved with more professional practices and civic education (Chatzimouratidis and Pilavachi 1081-1089).

Environmental rules, for instance, pay-as-you-dispose could boost the rate of management and decrease waste levels (Fenger 13-17). The establishment of waste recycling firms could limit economic expenses because it will change harmful waste into useful raw products. For instance, waste plastic papers and bottles could be used to make items such as gumboots and basins to mention a few. The location of trash treatment and dumping sites should be suitably established to decrease the effect of pollution in terms of noise, dust, and foul smell. The recycling centers and organizations should encourage people to embark on waste collection by paying a fee equivalent to the amount of waste they have collected (Rehdanz, and Maddison 787-790). This approach could meaningfully eradicate or reduce waste and damage to the environment, as well as other negative economic impacts such as diseases and deaths to mention a few.


Individual improved standards of living have been the main cause of the damage to the environment. Attributable to people having better living standards, they have raised the rate of environmental pollution. This arises from the products that various individuals make use of and dispose to the environment. Though complex to deal with, environmental damage is a serious subject that should receive significant contemplation. It is evident that air pollution is the greatest setback with regard to damage to the environment. With the improvement in the standard of living, there has been the yearning of increasingly more people to own vehicles and industries, which results in increased creation of air pollution. Furthermore, the oil spills and discarding of waste materials from industries in water bodies bring about water pollution. The dumping of the used products, for instance, used drink cans to the environment affects the life of animals and human beings negatively. In conjunction with the advancement of expertise and the living standards, the concerned authorities and stakeholders should play a noteworthy role in handling the arising predicaments. Additionally, producers and factories should reflect not simply on ways of increasing their profits but also communal gains with respect to environmental protection. If the relevant authorities, stakeholders, and residents team up in resolving the environmental problems, it will become easy to maintain the safety of the environment regardless of improvement in the standard of living.

Works Cited

Bose, Bimal. “Global warming: Energy, environmental pollution, and the impact of power electronics.” IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine 4.1 (2010): 6-17

Chatzimouratidis, Athanasios, and Petros Pilavachi. “Multicriteria evaluation of power plants impact on the living standard using the analytic hierarchy process.” Energy Policy 36.3 (2008): 1074-1089.

Fenger, Jes. “Air pollution in the last 50 years: From local to global.”Atmospheric Environment 43.1 (2009): 13-22.

Omer, Mustafa. “Energy, environment and sustainable development.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 12.9 (2008): 2265-2300.

Rehdanz, Katrin, and David Maddison. “Local environmental quality and life-satisfaction in Germany.” Ecological Economics 64.4 (2008): 787-797.

Van Vugt, Mark. “Averting the tragedy of the commons using social psychological science to protect the environment.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 18.3 (2009): 169-173.

Veziroğlu, Nejat, and Sümer Şahi. “21st Century’s energy: Hydrogen energy system.” Energy Conversion and Management 49.7 (2008): 1820-1831.