Destroying Our World

Topics: Sulfur dioxide, Pollution, Acid rain Pages: 2 (559 words) Published: April 2, 2014
With the Advent of consumerism on the rise, the American culture continues to buy, buy, buy. Whether it's a new car or a bag of chips, we are constantly spending money on things we don't need. Once these items become unnecessary in our daily lives, we throw them away.

Every year, millions of items ranging from children toy's to high tech laptops are deposed of in landfills. These items are then burned to create more space for never ending line of garbage. When landfills burn their trash, they pollute the air we breath and ecosystems around us. In all, consumerism is one of the many reasons why our world is constantly being polluted. In Two Cheers for Materialism by James Twitchell writes, "When the rest of the world now wishes to disparage Americans, they call us a nation of consumers." That is what we have become as a nation, we constantly buy things even if we don't need them. Buying a new flat screen television when the one you already have works fine. Because of this, our environment is the one that takes the brunt of the damage. When landfills burn trash, they fill the air with a gas called sulfur dioxide or SO2 for short. This toxic component is found in products made of plastic and certain preservatives found on dried fruits and nuts. Sulfur Dioxide as a vapor is released into the air then falls to the ground in the rain. This is known as acid rain.

Acid rain has two indirect effects on our ecosystems. The first, acid rain slowly destroys our forests and plant-life. When acid rain falls, it seeps into the soil around trees and plants. Over time, the sulfur dioxide dissolves the nutrients and useful minerals in the soil and washes them away before the wildlife can make use of them. Because of this, the growth of these trees and plants decrease. Plants might suddenly lose color in their leaves or the leaves might fall off. Exposure to these toxins also makes trees and plants more prone to infections such as fungal decay or viruses and bacteria....
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