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40 Examples of Environmental Impact

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An environmental impact is the effect of human activity on the natural environment. This is usually negative but can also be positive. At a high level, most impact is related to consuming resources, creating waste and disrupting ecosystems. However, there are a large number of special cases such as the release of extremely hazardous chemicals or the extinction of a species whereby impact can be very high. The following are illustrative examples of environmental impact.
Agricultural runoff
Air pollution
Biodiversity loss
Chemical contamination
Chemical spills
Construction dust
Destruction of blue spaces
Destruction of green spaces
Destruction of natural heritage
Destruction of natural landscapes
Disruption of natural habitats e.g. noise pollution that disrupts nature
Energy consumption
Fragmentation of habitats
Greenhouse gas emissions
Habitat destruction
Hazardous materials such as electronic waste
Heat-absorbing materials such as asphalt infrastructure
Human health impacts
Impact of industrial, nuclear and transportation accidents
Land use
Light pollution
Marine debris
Noise and vibrations
Pesticide drift
Radioactive pollution
Release of toxic chemicals
Resource overconsumption
Social and cultural impacts
Soil degradation
Transportation emissions
Urban runoff
Visual impact such as landscapes of concrete infrastructure
Volatile organic compounds from chemicals and materials
War related destruction including nuclear weapons
Waste generation
Waste management impacts
Water overconsumption
Water pollution
Consuming a renewable resource in a sustainable way can be quite low impact.
In some cases, supposed solutions to environmental problems can have unintended consequences or can directly create negative impacts. For example, covering a natural lake with solar panels whereby you impact natural ecosystems and blue spaces for solar panels that could just as well be on an unused roof.

Environmental Issues

This is the complete list of articles we have written about environmental issues.
Air Pollution
Cascading Failure
Creeping Normality
Cultural Lag
Environmental Impact
Environmental Issues
Existential Risk
Forest Dieback
Global Warming
Material Diversity
Quality Of Life
Resistance To Change
Right To Know
Space Junk
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