Land, water, air: our lives depend upon them. The Earth has generously given us these resources for millions of years. Since humans evolved, our population has grown rapidly. We have used and abused our Earth and its resources.
Humans have had a serious impact on the land. We use it to grow crops to feed our growing population. We also use it to provide energy. Each year one person in North America uses resources equal to 12 acres of land!
One of the largest impacts humans have had on the Earth is the mining of mineral resources. Almost everything we use is made of metals and other land resources. We use copper to make wires that carry our electricity. We use sand and gravel to pave our roads. Many of our appliances are made of aluminum and other metals.
The extraction of all these resources takes a toll on the Earth. Large amounts of soil and rock need to be moved. The landscape is completely changed. Topsoil is lost. Ecosystems are disturbed.