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Environmental Law

How you can fight environmental issues

Global warming is going to change the environment, and our love of material things, use of fossil fuels and demand on the planet’s resources are thought to be the cause. Man’s impact on the environment has often been without regulation or enforcement and because of that the environment has suffered. As our environment becomes more affected, there are things that you as an individual can do to slow down the rapidly growing effects of climate change.

Change your form of transport

Cars have been one of the main culprits in the production of carbon dioxide. This gas helps trap heat in our atmosphere, which is one of the causes of global warming. Many people could help reduce this effect if they would use their car less often. Instead of using a car to go to a nearby shop, for instance, they could use a bicycle, or even walk. Other alternative means include taking a bus or train, or carpooling to commute to work.

Some cities are known to have a better level of overall health among inhabitants. A primary reason for this is because cars are discouraged and people choose to use bicycles or walk. Both of these methods take off extra pounds and help improve circulation, keeping the body stronger and healthier. New studies have also discovered that most people worldwide now have carbon nanotubes in their lungs – a known carcinogen – that is being produced by new cars.

Choose a different vehicle

There are more options available today when it comes to getting a vehicle with a lower carbon footprint. Electric cars have zero emissions, but it is not always easy to find a place to charge the batteries. This problem is gradually being overcome.

Hybrid vehicles are both electric and petrol powered, but they use far less petrol than conventional cars because the vehicle can run on the electric motors for many miles.

Fighting water pollution

Depending on where you live in South Africa, the effects of water pollution may or may not be evident. Some cities are struggling to provide clean water for their residents and many people in rural communities have a constant battle with trying to either get enough water, or trying to ensure that the water they do have is clean and free of contaminants such as lead, arsenic, or pesticides.

Some of the primary sources of water pollution are chemicals that are used for a wide variety of purposes. In many cases, natural substitutes are available, but people need to be made aware of them and choose to look for them when they shop.


Simple steps to reduce water pollution includes:

  • Using natural products for lawn fertilizers, laundry and dish detergents.
  •  Buying organic food that is not grown with the aid of chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Getting rid of potentially hazardous materials in recycling centres. This includes oil, paints and antifreeze.
  •  Keeping rubbish away from sources of water.

If legal action is needed to stop an industry from polluting the air or water there are expert lawyers available; one such legal advisor is Henner Diekmann of Diekmann Associates, a company capable of dealing with such matters. It is often legal challenges that are the only way to stop sources of major pollution. Pollution, whether it is in the air we breathe, or in the water we drink, can be reduced. The key, however, is for everyone to do their part. When that happens on a global scale, it will cease to be a worldwide problem.