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Land Pollution Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Kelly Beaty

Kelly has taught fifth grade language arts and adult ESL. She has a master's degree in education and a graduate certificate in TESOL.

Sometimes the earth gets filled up with things that make it dirty. We call this pollution. Pollution occurs on land, in the air, and in water. This lesson is about pollution on the land.

The Land Gives Us Many Things

The land we live on provides us with so many important things. It is important for this land to be clean. Can you imagine living in a house that is built on a pile of garbage...or eating vegetables from a garden that is filled with trash?

When the land is clean, people, plants, and animals have healthy places to live and grow. These things all work together according to nature's design. Plants give us vegetables to eat and oxygen to breathe. The land provides materials for our houses and the homes of animals.

When nature is clean and clear of garbage, we can enjoy its beauty. The beach, a sunset, a bike ride on a mountain trail...these kinds of things are much better in a clean and uncluttered place.

Compare these two pictures of land. Which one do you think supports life and provides beauty?

Polluted Land
polluted land

Clean Land
unpolluted land

Types of Land Pollution

There are different ways that land can become polluted. The things that pollute are usually things that we do not want or need anymore. These things are called waste. There are a couple of different categories of waste that contribute to land pollution:

The first kind of waste is solid waste. This is the name for things like broken toys, trash, and appliances that we no longer use. We can see solid waste - it's easy to see when it's scattered on the ground or piled up in a heap. Sometimes solid waste gets buried in landfills, which are just places where garbage is buried under the ground. Landfills take up land space that could better be used by trees and other plants, and by animals and people for homes.

The other main kind of land pollution waste is chemical waste. Generally we cannot see chemical waste, but it's very harmful. Chemicals like gasoline, cleaners, pesticides, medications, and fertilizer cause harm to the land when they spill onto it. Many chemicals are poisonous to living creatures. Chemical waste can enter lakes, rivers, and other water sources. This hurts wildlife and humans who use the water.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

This sign is displayed in many public places to remind people of ways to cut down on land pollution:

reduce, reuse, recycle

'Reduce' means for us to use less of the things we throw away. Not using too many paper napkins at lunch is one way to reduce waste. We can also use biodegradable products. These are things that slowly become part of the dirt after we use them.

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