Research Paper Topics on the Environment

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Environmental issues are becoming an important part of many school curriculums. There are an abundance of environmental issues for students to write about. The importance of researching environmental issues helps students become aware of how they affect their environment and what they can do to protect it. Furthermore, research topics about the environment educate students and make them accountable for their own part in improving the environment.

1 Recycling

Recycling is a relevant and important environmental research topic for students to write about. Students can approach this research topic in a variety of ways, including the pros and cons of recycling and whether recycling should be mandatory. Students can draw on examples of cities or towns that have implemented mandatory recycling and compare the success and effects of recycling against those that do not implement a mandatory recycling program. The research topic could also describe the process of recycling different materials, such as glass, plastics, cardboard and cans, and even discuss the process that is involved in compost materials.

2 Oil Resources Versus Renewable Energy Sources

A popular debate among environmental scientists and oil corporations is between oil resources and renewable energy resources. Students can prepare a research paper exploring the options available to the development of oil resources and the development of renewable energy sources. The paper can discuss the importance of creating energy sources that are safe and conducive to saving the environment; look at the pros and cons of renewable energy sources and explore the environmental consequences of oil resources.

3 Pesticides

Pesticides prevent insects and pests from feeding on fruits and vegetables. However, they could pose harmful threats to the environment, animals and even humans if consumed. Ask students to explore the effects of pesticides on fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are heated and washed to remove pesticides; students can research the effectiveness of removing pesticides. Students research the process of administering and removing pesticides in different farms and explore the more effective means of doing so, in addition to alternatives to using pesticides.

4 Endangered Animals

The endangered animals list is always growing. Endangered animals are those who are limited in population and at risk of becoming extinct if action is not taken. Ask students to prepare a research topic based on the consequences of pollution and global warming on the endangerment of animals. Students can select a particular endangered animal from a part of the world and research the issues surrounding the animal’s endangerment. Students explore the effects of population and what happens to the environment when an endangered animal does become extinct.

Krista Martin has been writing professionally since 2005. She has written for magazines, newspapers and websites including Live Listings, "Homes & Living" magazine and the "Metro Newspaper." Martin holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in English from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Master of Journalism from the University of Westminster.