Environment- All external conditions, factors, matter, and energy, living and nonliving, that affect any living organism or other specified system. Non-Point Sources- Broad and diffuse areas, rather than points, from which pollutants enter bodies of surface water or air. Examples include runoff of chemicals and sediments from cropland, livestock feedlots, logged forests, urban streets, parking lots, lawns, and golf courses. Compare point source. Scientific Principles of Sustainability- To live more sustainably we need to rely on solar energy, preserve biodiversity, and recycle the chemicals that we use. These three principles of sustainability are scientific lessons from nature based on observing how life on the earth has survived and thrived for 3.5 billion years. See biodiversity, chemical cycling, solar energy. Compare social science principles of sustainability. Ecological Footprint- Amount of biologically productive land and water needed to supply a population with the renewable resources it uses and to absorb or dispose of the wastes from such resource use. It is a measure of the average environmental impact of populations in different countries and areas. See per capita ecological footprint. Exhaustible Resources- See nonrenewable resource.Point Sources- Single identifiable source that discharges pollutants into the environment. Examples include the smokestack of a power plant or an industrial plant, drainpipe of a meatpacking plant, chimney of a house, or exhaust pipe of an automobile. Compare nonpoint source. Pollution- Undesirable change in the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of air, water, soil, or food that can adversely affect the health, survival, or activities of humans or other living organisms. Environmental Degradation- Depletion or destruction of a potentially renewable resource such as soil, grassland, forest, or wildlife that is used faster than it is naturally replenished. If such use continues, the resource...
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