How to Prevent Acid Rain Pollution

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors  | 

The planet that we inherited from our parents is not the same planet that we'll be giving to our children. Through the excessive burning of our nonrenewable fossil fuels in power plants, factories and cars, we have created acid rain pollution, i.e. today's precipitation has high levels of nitric and sulfuric acids. This has devastating effects on our oceans, lakes and rivers and all the animals that inhabit them [source: National Geographic]. Read the tips listed below and learn about the small steps that you can take to prevent acid rain pollution.

  • Energy conservation The biggest step that you can take to prevent acid rain is to decrease your energy consumption. Close the lights when you leave the room and turn off computers and televisions when you're not using them. Whenever you're not using an electrical appliance, simply shut it off to conserve energy. Another large consumer of energy is your home's heating and cooling system. Make sure to use your air conditioning only when you really need it. Also, when you leave the house, turn down your heater's thermostat. It will cost you less and save more energy [source: EPA].
  • Transportation Because cars are a major contributor to acid rain pollution, it's important to find alternate modes of transportation in an effort to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels. By using public transit, carpools, bikes and even your feet, you're helping reduce auto emissions. Avoid using your car whenever possible. You'll be helping the environment by preventing acid rain [source: National Geographic].
  • Alternative fuels An excellent way to prevent acid rain is to stop using nonrenewable fuels and switch over to renewable sources of energy, such as solar, wind and water energy. As the technology for these alternative energies increases, they will become more accessible to the public. Try using solar powered heating systems and battery-powered cars to do your part for the environment [source: EPA].

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Originally Published: Jul 13, 2011

Acid Rain FAQs

Why is acid rain harmful?
Acid rain is a result of our increased reliance on nonrenewable fossil fuels that are used in vehicles, factories and power plants. Acid rain contains high levels of sulfuric and nitric acids, which wreaks havoc on oceans, rivers and lakes. It also hampers the growth of trees, causing nutrients such as calcium and magnesium to dissolve in the soil, while releasing aluminum which keeps trees from absorbing water.
How is acid rain formed?
Acid rain is the result of a chemical reaction that entails the release of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air. These substances go high up into the atmosphere and mix with oxygen, water and other chemicals before falling to the ground as precipitation.
How can acid rain pollution be prevented?
For starters, we need to significantly cut down on the use of fossil fuels because they cause the most pollution. We should switch over to renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power. Secondly, energy conservation should be prioritized by making sure no lights or appliances are left turned on after use. Last but not the least, alternate modes of travel should be considered. Carpooling and public transport can go a long way in reducing auto emissions.
What are three adverse effects of acid rain?
Acid rain impedes the growth of forests, compromises soil quality and negatively impacts natural bodies of water. All of this proves disastrous for animals and creatures, not to mention humans.
How acidic is acid rain?
Acid rain typically has a pH value of four.

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