When you think of environmental standards, you may feel cadged in by all the red tape. Environmental standards protect things like where certain businesses can exist, and even what you can bury in your backyard. Many people feel like environmental standards are too strict or too invasive, but in fact, the opposite is actually true. Environmental standards help protect the earth- and even you!
Standards in Food
When industrial manufacturing of foods first started, there was no regulation at all. Manufacturers were free to put anything they liked in the food- and often did! It was common to find fillers like rock dust in flour, mineral oil in olive oil, and other additives or mistaken ingredients (like bugs or animal feces) inside commercially-prepared foods. The FDA was founded and started to make regulations for food to improve the overall safety of modern foods. Without food standards, it would be possible to sell spoiled food products, products with unsafe additives, and products with fillers that are nutritionally unsound.
Standards in Business
Businesses also have environmental standards. This goes beyond basic zoning, although that is a part of environmental standards for business. For example, certain businesses are not able to build in certain areas. A factory is not allowed to dump industrial waste into the drinking supply of a nearby city. Business also have to stick to other environmental rules, such as what kind of materials they can build with or how much air pollution they can emit. These standards help keep the surrounding area around a business clean and safe.
Standards in Environment
The EPA and other environmental standard groups also have standards for the environment. Certain animals, plants, and regions have protection. Even homeowners have to adhere to environmental laws to keep the surrounding wildlife and plant life safe. For example, homeowners cannot dump dangerous chemicals (like paint or solvent cleaners) into the back yard or city water systems. Specific areas are kept free of any human interaction to provide a safe haven for local wildlife and native plants. Without these areas, urban environments would cause the extinction of many plants and animals.
Aside from following regulations about the environment, you can also do a lot to keep yourself personally healthy, safe, and earth-friendly. Dispose of dangerous chemicals properly. Do not flush anything down the toilet like medications, chemicals, or other waste products. Make sure you adhere to all local laws about burning, watering, and what you can build with on your property to keep your environment safe. You can also look at environmental data resources to determine where a chemical plant or other unsafe practice may have taken place before. These resources can help you determine if the area around you is safe from chemical exposure or has seen any other non earth-friendly activities.
When you really take a look at it, environmental standards are beneficial to everyone. Without these standards in place, the earth would look at lot different, and our plants, animals, and even ourselves would be in grave danger of serious physical damages- even to the point of extinction.