140 Environmental Essay Topics

In any academic discipline, writing an essay on the environment can be a daunting task, no matter what the subject matter. Not only should students understand the complexities of the natural world, but they should also be able to communicate their ideas clearly in writing.

To combat the many challenges students can face when crafting an environmental essay, we’ve created this handy guide detailing how to write an environmental essay and even included 140 environmental essay topics to help get you started.

What Is an Environmental Essay?

An environmental essay is a type of paper where a student must choose a topic related to the environment and present an argument, opinion, or point of view about it. The primary purpose of this type of essay is to educate readers on a given issue and raise awareness about potential solutions.

How to Write an Environmental Essay: A Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Choose an Essay Topic

Before you can start writing your environmental essay, you need to choose a topic. Writing this type of paper may appear simple, but finding the right topic can be the most difficult part of the process. You’ll want to choose a topic that matches the essay format to ensure that the writing process is as smooth as possible.

For example, if you are tasked with writing an argumentative essay on a particular environmental issue, make sure that your topic can be argued. Avoid choosing a topic that is too broad or too specific, as this can make it challenging to develop a clear thesis statement and support your argument.

If your environmental essay is a compare and contrast essay, you’ll want to choose two topics that can be effectively compared and contrasted. And if your essay is a cause and effect essay, make sure that your topic focuses on causes or effects (or both) related to an environmental issue.

Step 2: Develop a Thesis Statement

Once you’ve chosen your essay topic, it’s time to develop a thesis statement. This is a sentence (or two) that summarizes your paper’s central argument. Specificity and focus are the hallmarks of a well-crafted thesis statement. In other words, it should be open to discussion and disagreement.

For example, a weak thesis statement might be something like:

“The environment is important.”

While this statement is true, it’s too general to be the focus of an entire essay. A stronger thesis statement might be:

“It’s time to stop polluting and other activities that harm the environment.”

This is a well-reasoned statement that expresses a firm opinion on the subject. It’s a good topic for an argumentative essay because it’s open to debate.

Step 3: Do Your Research

Now that you have a thesis statement, it’s time to do your research. This will involve finding sources (such as books, articles, and websites) that support your argument. When taking notes from your sources, be sure to write down the author, title, and publication date for each one. This will make it easier to create your Works Cited page later on.

As you’re doing your research, keep your essay format in mind. For example, if you are writing a five-paragraph essay, make sure that you have enough evidence to support your thesis statement and fill out each of the three body paragraphs.

Step 4: Write a Draft

Now it’s time to start writing your first draft. Begin by creating an outline that will help you organize your thoughts and ideas. Then, as you flesh out paragraphs from your outline, keep your audience in mind and make sure that your argument is clear and easy to follow.

Your draft should include an introduction, ideas for each body paragraph, and a conclusion. It is important to include your thesis statement in your introduction and to restate it in your conclusion.

Keep in mind that each body paragraph will always need a clear and interesting topic sentence, as well as a transition sentence that sums up the section. The following are some good examples of sentences that begin or transition:



“Even though many people do not consider the environment to be important, it is vital to our continued existence. It is impossible to survive without a healthy environment.

In order to see this, you can look at the…”


“Humans are clearly causing harm to the environment, but what are the root causes of this? I believe that the most important issue is….”



“We can all see the effects of environmental degradation, but persuading people to alter their behavior is a difficult task. While the…”

Each of these sentences offers a clear and concise argument that can be explored in more depth in the body paragraphs.

Step 5: Edit and Proofread

After writing your essay, it’s time to edit and proofread it. This is the process of making sure that there are no errors in your grammar or spelling. It’s also a good idea to read your essay aloud to make sure that it flows smoothly.

140 Environmental Essay Topics

With the helpful guide above detailing the process of creating an environmental essay, you should now have no trouble writing on your topic of choice. However, if you’re still struggling to find the perfect topic, consider one of the following 140 environmental essay topics.

Environmental Essay Topics About Pollution

  1. The dangers of plastic pollution
  2. How climate change is affecting our environment
  3. The causes and effects of water pollution
  4. Air pollution in cities: a problem that needs to be addressed
  5. The issue of noise pollution and its effects on our health
  6. The dangers of pesticides and herbicides
  7. How deforestation is affecting our environment
  8. The problem of light pollution
  9. The dangers of nuclear waste
  10. How climate change is affecting our weather

Environmental Essay Topics About Conservation

  1. Why it’s important to conserve water
  2. How to reduce your carbon footprint
  3. Why recycling is important for the environment
  4. The importance of composting
  5. How to reduce your energy consumption
  6. Why it’s essential to protect endangered species
  7. How you can help the environment in your everyday life
  8. The benefits of organic farming
  9. Why it’s important to reduce, reuse, and recycle
  10. The dangers of mountaintop removal mining

Environmental Essay Topics About Animals

  1. How climate change is affecting animals in the wild
  2. The declining populations of bees and other pollinators
  3. How deforestation is affecting wildlife habitats
  4. The problem of invasive species
  5. The plight of endangered animals
  6. How zoos and aquariums are helping to conserve animals
  7. How to make your home more wildlife-friendly
  8. The importance of responsible pet ownership
  9. How to help local wildlife in your area
  10. Why it’s important to spay and neuter your pets

Environmental Essay Topics About Plants

  1. The importance of trees for the environment
  2. Newly discovered flora species with exciting medicinal benefits
  3. How deforestation is affecting wildlife habitats
  4. The problem of invasive species
  5. The benefits of permaculture
  6. How to make your garden more wildlife-friendly
  7. Why it’s important to plant native species
  8. How to help local flora in your area
  9. The specific compounds in herbicides that affect particular plant species
  10. The benefits of home gardening

Environmental Essay Topics About Sustainability

  1. What is sustainability?
  2. The importance of sustainable living
  3. How to live a more sustainable lifestyle
  4. The benefits of renewable energy sources
  5. The problems with nuclear energy
  6. Public transport v. carpooling: A comparative analysis
  7. How to make your home more energy-efficient
  8. The dangers of recycling the wrong items
  9. Socio-economic factors that make organic farming difficult for the masses
  10. How to shop sustainably

Environmental Essay Topics About Climate Change

  1. The causes of climate change
  2. How climate change is affecting our environment
  3. The effects of climate change on the world’s economy
  4. How climate change is affecting our weather
  5. The potential impact of climate change on our health
  6. The effect of climate change on plant and animal species
  7. Compare and contrast two factors driving climate change
  8. Analyze arguments for and against climate change
  9. The possible solutions to climate change
  10. The role of the individual in combating climate change

Environmental Essay Topics About Environmentalism

  1. What is environmentalism?
  2. The history of environmentalism
  3. The goals of environmentalism
  4. The different branches of environmentalism
  5. How you can get involved in environmentalism
  6. The benefits of environmentalism
  7. The challenges of environmentalism
  8. Environmentalism v. consumerism: A comparative analysis
  9. How environmentalism is affecting our economy
  10. The future of environmentalism

Environmental Essay Topics About History

  1. How the Industrial Revolution changed the environment
  2. The environmental impact of World War I
  3. The environmental impact of World War II
  4. How colonialism has impacted the environment
  5. The environmental effect of the American Civil War
  6. Reconstruction and its effect on the environment
  7. The Dust Bowl and its environmental effects
  8. The environmental impact of the Great Depression
  9. The environmental consequences of the Cold War
  10. How 9/11 has impacted the environment

Environmental Essay Topics About Natural Disasters

  1. The effects of floods on the environment
  2. The effect of droughts on the environment
  3. Wildfires: Causes and solutions
  4. Causes for the growing intensity of environmental storms
  5. How can we prepare for natural disasters?
  6. The role of the media in natural disaster relief
  7. The impact of natural disasters on our economy
  8. The importance of environmental protection during times of emergency
  9. Psychological effects of natural disasters
  10. Natural disasters and their effect on our infrastructure

Environmental Essay Topics About Alternative Resources

  1. Understanding the benefits of hemp production for paper
  2. The use of biogas as an environmentally friendly resource
  3. The pros and cons of nuclear power
  4. Why solar energy is the way of the future
  5. How wind turbines are changing the energy game
  6. The potential of geothermal energy
  7. The benefits and drawbacks of using tidal power
  8. The use of rainwater harvesting as an alternative water source
  9. How to make recycling more effective
  10. Why we should be using more recycled materials in the construction industry
  11. The benefits of using recycled materials in the automotive industry
  12. Why we should be using more alternative energy sources

Environmental Essay Topics About Education

  1. The role of education in environmental protection
  2. The importance of environmental education
  3. Environmental education programs that work
  4. The challenges of environmental education
  5. How to make environmental education more effective
  6. The future of environmental education

Environmental Essay Topics About Water

  1. Analyze the current state of the world’s water supply
  2. The importance of freshwater
  3. The global water crisis
  4. Solutions to the global water crisis
  5. How climate change is affecting our water supply
  6. How to conserve water
  7. The benefits of recycling wastewater
  8. The dangers of contaminated water
  9. The effect of oil spills on the environment
  10. The role of the individual in protecting water resources
  11. What we can do to stop water pollution
  12. How to make our sewage system more efficient

Environmental Essay Topics About Air Pollution

  1. The effects of air pollution on human health
  2. The causes of air pollution
  3. Solutions to air pollution
  4. How to reduce air pollution
  5. The impact of air pollution on the environment
  6. The effect of smog on the environment
  7. The benefits of reducing emissions
  8. How to make our cities more livable
  9. Reducing noise pollution
  10. Why we should be planting more trees

Environmental Essay Topics About Capitalism

  1. Compare the environmental effects of capitalism v. socialism
  2. The role of the government in environmental protection
  3. The impact of capitalism on the environment
  4. Is capitalism pushing us into environmental catastrophe?
  5. How does capitalism contribute to climate change?
  6. The pros and cons of green capitalism

Environmental Essay Topics About Technology

  1. The impact of technology on the environment
  2. The effect of social media on the environment
  3. The role of technology in environmental protection
  4. The environmental impact of Bitcoin

These 140 environmental essay topics will give students plenty of material to work with and should make writing the essay relatively easy.

Remember that these topics are just examples and can be altered or combined to better suit your needs. Once you have a topic in mind, follow the writing guide above to ensure you hand in a high-quality environmental essay that will earn you a good grade.

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