For centuries, human society has taken the gifts of nature for granted. As civilizations grew, humans spread out across the face of the planet, taking what they needed from the land and producing more and more waste materials with little regard for the future. In the late 1960s, a growing number of people became concerned about the growing problems of pollution and the destruction of natural habitats. This movement led to the formation of groups like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA's aim is to reduce all types of pollution. To this end, the agency has imposed strict laws and guidelines concerning the disposal of hazardous materials, set clean water standards, and studied more effective techniques of solid waste disposal. The primary goal of the environmental movement as a whole is to make sure that the environment is safe and intact for future generations to enjoy.