Opportunity cost is the cost that is foregone when we make a choice or a decision. If a piece of land is to be used for wheat production then the production of say, rice, is to be sacrificed. The loss of rice production is the opportunity cost of producing wheat. In the similar way, the cost of negative environment is the opportunity cost of huge expenditure incurred on health and searching new alternatives. This is explained elaborately in the following paragraph;
When the resources are extracted at a more rapid pace than its regeneration, then we say that the carrying capacity of the environment reduces. In such situation, environment fails to perform its function of sustaining life, thereby, resulting in environmental crises. Therefore, there arises a need for exploration of new alternative eco-friendly resources to avoid environmental crisis. Moreover, environmental crises lead to greater incidence of respiratory and water borne diseases, necessitating higher health expenditures and investments. The costs involved in searching new alternative resources together with the greater health expenditures constitute the opportunity costs of negative environmental impact. Such opportunity costs are very high and require voluminous financial commitments by the government. Therefore, the opportunity costs of negative environmental impact are high.