You must have read the word ‘environment’ often in some newspaper, or discussed on TV channels, even from other people. And especially about how human evolution and advancement are gradually degrading it. Elders often say how our ‘environment’ is not as healthy as it used to be before. Several global summits are held every year to discuss the impact of global warming and other environmental issues. We should live and work in a healthy environment, but our current lifestyle is affecting our environment in manifold ways. For instance, you must have witnessed how every household generates a lot of waste every day. This waste also consists of non-biodegradable items, which causes a negative impact on our environment and living organisms. Hence, it is important for everyone to know about the environment and how to save it. In this chapter from ‘Class 10 Science ‘Our Environment’, you will learn about various factors of the environment and how humans impact it.
All Types of human-generated waste
We generate waste every day. These wastes include different kinds of materials and can be roughly classified into two types:
Biodegradable: These are the types of organic wastes that can be decomposed easily by bacteria or saprophytes.
Non-biodegradable waste: This includes synthetic wastes like plastic, glass, metal, electronics, etc., which remain unaltered despite various environmental forces like rain, bacteria, heat, and atmospheric pressure. Such wastes become the cause of pollution and negatively affect the members of the ecosystem.
Ecosystem – Its Types and Components
Different organisms such as animals, human beings, microorganisms, and plants, as well as, the surroundings maintain a balance in nature by interacting with each other. This is called the ecosystem. Any living organism that interacts with non-living elements creates an ecosystem together. A balanced ecosystem includes biotic components that are all living organisms and abiotic components that are physical environmental factors such as heat, wind, rain, soil, temperature, pressure, and earth elements. Aquatic ecosystem, desert ecosystem, agricultural ecosystem, and human ecosystem are some examples of ecosystems.
Ecosystems can again be divided into two parts, such as:
1. Natural ecosystem:
Any living organism such as animal or human that interacts with non-living elements such as air or soil, can create an ecosystem. This interaction between the living organisms with the environment is known as a natural ecosystem. Examples of the natural ecosystems are marine ecosystems, which include the oceans where fish, algae, plants, consumers, and decomposers, reside.
2. Artificial ecosystem:
This type of ecosystem needs human involvement for its creation. Humans create it by using natural components like animals and plants. These man made (artificial) ecosystems include gardens, ponds, fountains, aquariums, parks, etc.
The components in these the ecosystem can further be divided into two types:
Biotic: Living organisms that constitute the living components and impact the other organisms in the ecosystem. Various plants that are consumed by other animals, and animals that are consumed by other animals, are all biotic components.
Abiotic: All the nonliving components in the ecosystem are the abiotic components. For example, air, water, sunlight, and temperature form the abiotic components in a terrestrial ecosystem.