Exercise 1.3: Human Impacts Over Time

1. Humans have the largest impact on the global ecosystem. Some impacts have a positive effect and some a negative effect. Look closely at the list of actions below and explain how the individual in each situation has an impact on his or her environment.

  • a child throws her popsicle wrapper on the ground --->
  • a snowmobiler creates trails in the mountain snow --->
  • a farmer ploughs a field --->
  • construction workers build a new community --->
  • a biologist adds fish to a lake --->
  • a homeowner sprays the dandelions in the lawn --->

2. Explain the difference between basic human needs and wants.

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3. Name three materials that are available today that were not available over a century ago? 

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4. Where do the three materials you list above come from? What are the raw materials?

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5. How has the creation of these materials impacted your life? If these materials were not available how would you adjust?

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6. How have these materials impacted the ecosystem?

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7. How has Canadian society and lifestyles changed in the last 100 years that would cause the amount of garbage that each household produces to increase?

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8. Name three things you could start doing today to decrease the amount of household waste your family is producing?

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