Protect Your Home and Garage Against Environmental Hazards
The way that we treat the land we live on directly impacts our future. For example, if we farm and allow livestock to graze without a system in place, then the land will quickly become depleted of its natural resources. In turn, this can cause serious problems with natural water sources, like excessive siltation and pollution. Water pollution, UV exposure and deforestation are problematic in both rural and suburban areas throughout Ireland. Fortunately, there is something that can be done. Armed with knowledge, and a little bit of preparation, it isn't difficult to keep your home safe from the majority of environmental hazards that can be foreseen.
Acidification happens when the pH of the soil rises and it begins to acidify. This is undesirable for both agricultural and everyday home owners who wish to landscape their yard decoratively because most plants are unable to grow properly in highly acidic soil.
Deforestation is a concern all over the world, not just in Ireland. If you have to clear away large areas of vegetation on your property, then it is environmentally responsible to plant more in a different location. This prevents the loss of entire habitats.
If overgrazing, soil degradation and deforestation are allowed to run unchecked, then the land is at risk for desertification. Homeowners can prevent the deterioration of their property by regularly monitoring its condition.
Over time, acid rain is hazardous to wildlife, native vegetation and any buildings that it falls on. As a homeowner, it's important to periodically check the condition of your roof and outside walls to ensure no damage has been done.
- How Acid Rain Interacts with the Atmosphere (PDF)
- The Effect of Acid Rain on Freshwater Bodies (PDF)
Noxious substances can be in the air, water and the ground. More often than not, homeowners encounter these toxic substances after they have been illegally dumped near a residential or agricultural area.
If you raise cattle, sheep, horses or other forms of livestock on your property, then overgrazing is a very real concern. If the animals are allowed to remain in one spot for an extended period of time, then they will quickly deplete the natural vegetation.
In agricultural applications, soil degradation happens when the land is exposed to excessive amounts of pesticides and is over farmed without rest. Homeowners can experience soil degradation in their home garden plots, as well.
If you live next to a natural body of water, then soil erosion is an imminent threat. It also happens every time it rains, wherever animals are allowed to graze and through improper landscaping practices.
Ultraviolet radiation (UV) can harm the exterior of your home over time. Many homeowners choose to install UV blocking windows and shades to further prevent exposure to the ultraviolet radiation.
Water borne diseases are more of a threat in suburban areas that run off of a shared water system because the pathogens can spread very quickly if left unchecked. However, well water should also be periodically tested to ensure it is safe to drink.
All homes should be checked prior to purchase for asbestos. Although a naturally occurring fire-resistant material, asbestos exposure can potentially lead to cancer.
DDT is an agricultural pesticide that causes harmful side effects to those who ingest and encounter it. If your property is agricultural, then it would be beneficial to not only the native fauna, but also your neighbors, to find a natural pesticide instead.
Defoliants, also known as weed killers, are not only harmful to native flora and fauna, but also to the humans that are exposed to the chemicals, as well. If you need to remove pest vegetation from your property, then consider using natural alternatives instead.
Effluents, also known as air, water and land pollution, are harmful to the environment and every living creature in it. Sealing the windows and other openings of the house well will help prevent indoor exposure to toxic substances.
Greenhouse gas is a hazard because it causes radiation from the sun to be trapped in the lower atmosphere. Homeowners can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gas by conserving the amount of energy they use to heat their home, driving less, and being environmentally conscious when they throw away their household waste.
- Controlling Greenhouse Gas in Ireland (PDF)
- Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Ireland (PDF)
- Reporting Program for Green House Gas
Maintaining an active knowledge of the industrial plants that surround your property can help prevent the inadvertent consumption of toxic waste via ground water and exposure to it by way of the air. If you feel that the plants are not disposing of their toxic waste properly, then raising awareness by reporting them to the appropriate authorities can help prevent irreversible harm to the native water ways.
Pollution is an environmental hazard that everyone has the ability to impact, both positively and negatively. To reduce air, water and ground pollution, try to remain conscious of how you dispose of waste and use resources.
If you live next to the Irish coast, then salination can pose a hazard for both you and the animals on your property that drink the groundwater. During the process of salination, freshwater is slowly replaced with seawater.
Although siltation is also naturally occurring, it is often the result of poor land management practices. For example, overgrazing, deforestation and soil degradation can eventually lead to the accumulation of silt in narrow water channels.
Illegally poaching animals and marine life can not only impact the ecosystem, but also the availability of food for everyday homeowners. It is up to each individual land owner to ensure that no illegal hunting is allowed on their property.