Pollution and Recycling

What is pollution?

Webster’s definition of pollution is: “the action of polluting especially by environmental contamination with man-made waste.”

Pollution is the act of putting things, man-made things, into our environment that are unhealthy for our environment.  We can pollute our land by throwing trash and other waste out and not disposing of it correctly.  We can pollute our water by throwing trash or other chemicals and pollutants into it.  We can pollute our air by releasing chemicals and other toxins into it.  There are many types of pollutants and each one of them affects our environment in at least one way.  What can we do about this?

What is recycling?

Webster’s definition of recycling is: ” to process (as liquid body waste, glass, or cans) in order to regain material for human use.”

This means that we can put some of these materials through a process that will allow us to use them again, and keeps them from ending up in landfills and other areas that destroy and harm our environment.  Pollution has affects on humans, animals, plants, buildings, etc.  Can you think of a way that pollution has affected you?  One of the biggest benefits to recycling is that we conserve our natural resources such as; trees, water, and minerals.

Here is a video that was completed by a group of students about items that are recycled with examples that quantify the amount of each item that has been recycled.


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Habitats and Adaptations

What is a habitat?

Webster’s definition of habitat is: “the place or environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows.”

Given this definition, what is your habitat?

A habitat is a certain geographical area that is inhabited by an animal, species, or other organism.  It is the physical environment that surrounds the species, or population.  The 5 main types of habitats are; grasslands, wetlands, forests, deserts, and arctic tundra.  Each one of these habitats, or environments, have living things in them that learned to adapt in order to survive there.

What is an adaptation?

Webster’s definition of adaptation is: “modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment.”

Animals learn to live in their habitat by adapting to all of the things around them.  Some of these adaptations include; animals that live in very cold environments have very thick fur, some animals that live in the water have developed webbed feet over time, polar bears adapted by having white fur, whales adapted by having a thick layer of blubber, etc.  Even people adapt to the their environment.  Did you know that people in very cold climates are very white and have bushy eyebrows and people in warmer areas have darker skin and thin eyebrows?

The greatest thing to remember when talking about habitats and adaptations of its inhabitants is that change is constant.  What an environment is like today may be quite different from what it was 100 years ago, or what it will be like 100 years from now.  Living things have to adapt to continue surviving.  What adaptations could you make if you were to move to the arctic tundra, or even the wetlands?

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