Cardboard cups for tea and coffee, toothbrushes with plastic handles, paper shopping bags, gum — without many of these things we can not imagine your life. And if your list is at least one of the above mentioned items, unfortunately, you are responsible for the pollution of nature.
AdMe.ru discovered surprising facts about how day to day we are quietly harm the ecosystem. And of course, happy to share tips on how to avoid it.
The world took a charitable initiative, the essence of which consists in collecting plastic caps, which we have in huge quantity thoughtlessly sent to the trash cans. The activists proved to help people in trouble, do not have to join the fundraiser. To do good is possible, only collecting screw caps from bottles and Tetra Pak. Thus it is possible to reduce the penetration of plastic in the environment and to help children.
In 2016 a large-scale project “Good caps” was implemented in Russia.
Concerned the Russians hand over the caps in points of reception, after which the plastic is sent for recycling. The plant raw material is weighed, and the proceeds transferred to charity funds. It is for them to buy another wheelchair for a needy child.
In the production of wet wipes plastic is used. The individual boxes are there for them. Contaminated wipes in a large quantity into the surrounding environment and act as the worst enemies of the Sewerage networks.
So, in Britain they are the cause of 93 % blockage of the pipe. Housing and communal services of London have removed a 130-ton pile of debris (the same minute, the blue whale weighs!), consisting mainly of wet wipes.
- To save the situation, you can reduce their consumption, using a spray means only when necessary (on the road, not at home) and replacing dry as possible with paper towels or running water.
While doctors argue, more harm or benefit from a gum, ecologists have no doubt that almost all gum on the market, kills the nature.
If the first gum was made of rubber, most of their modern counterparts consist of synthetic polymers that do not decompose in the environment and not absorbed by the digestive system.
Behind the innocuous phrase “chewing (rubber) base” concealed components, such as oil, latex, lanolin, polyvinyl acetate, polyethylene, glycerin, stearic acid, petroleum wax, is virtually a composition of rubber tires for vehicles. Used gum polluting and hazardous to animals.
- Fortunately, there is an alternative. Today, some manufacturers offer a rubber on a natural basis. Back to basics, so to speak.
Cashier’s checks — are far from harmless pieces of paper, which can be without consequences to take to recycling. It turns out that they are harmful for health and for the environment. However, paper checks can be called only conditionally: they are made of so-called thermal paper.
Along with checks and faxes into our body through the skin to reach toxic substance bisphenol a In the molecule structure it resembles the female sex hormone estrogen and detrimental effect on the brain and female reproductive organs. The connection is dangerous even in trace amounts. That the substance got into the body, enough to hold a cheque for 5 seconds, and if the hands or paper will be wet, the damage will increase 10 times.
It would seem, a small piece of paper may not cause serious harm. But the production volume will surprise even the skeptics. Thus, only in Russia annually uses about 100 tons of thermal paper. It is no coincidence that the processors of waste paper refuse to accept cheques because of the content of the bisphenol A. In the paper there is almost no pulp, and toxins are able to contaminate the rest of the trash.
- What to do? Using a system of contactless payment, ask the cashier to send you a receipt by e-mail or phone number. So you save not only nature, but also their own health.
If you refuse plastic bags and switched to paper, do not hurry to rejoice the role of Savior of nature. This is one of the major environmental myths.
It would seem that the paper breaks down faster and does not damage the environment. But for the manufacture of paper packaging takes more resources (energy and water) than their plastic counterparts. As a result of production are formed of water soluble non-biodegradable wastes that are harmful to the ecosystem, the air is polluted with 70% more and the processing at times less favorable than production of new packaging.
- Unfortunately, the alternatives to date there. So-called biodegradable bags can only be fragmented, but the biodegradation of the question. To preserve nature, use the packaging multiple times or choose reusable bags.
Sponge for washing dishes
Kitchen sponge — a real hotbed of germs. Hundreds of billions of bacteria, causative agents of dangerous diseases — and this is not the only evil that you will encounter. Disinfection of sponges does not reduce pollution, but rather promotes the growth of pathogenic bacteria, which in the case of a weakened immune system can cause inflammation.
Therefore, those who are worried about their health, changing the sponge for washing dishes at least once a week. And those who care about the environment, you know that it exponentially increases the amount of non-degradable waste.
- To colored washcloths for centuries have been accumulating in landfills, use sponges, cloths and rags from cellulose and bamboo: they decompose much faster. Today the market is also a kitchen brush with natural bristles on a wooden handle.
Silk pyramids, paper bags — the name is very conditional, because the composition of disposable packaging for tea is far from natural. Used for the manufacture not only large quantities of paper (which depletes natural resources), but also non-biodegradable synthetic polymers. Some of them emit harmful substances when heated.
Nylon pyramid cannot be composted, some varieties of bags are completely non-biodegradable. And even so-called paper bags containing synthetic fibers, so it does not soak in water.
96% of UK residents every day prefer bagged tea is brewed.
- Why do we continue to use the tea bags, is a mystery, because loose better, cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
With the advent of paper cups is not indifferent to the fate of nature people have experienced euphoria: finally, you can abandon this harmful plastic. However, all was not so rosy.
The inconvenient truth about paper cups is that they are not quite paper, otherwise Tara would have simply collapsed right after it had poured a hot drink.
The inner part of the Cup is lined with a special film that makes it impossible to recycle. Army of disposable paper tableware from day to day more and more pollute the planet.
- But it’s not so bad to give up my beloved coffee-to-go not necessarily. Just use the reusable vacuum Cup — let this be your new ecorepackage. If you can afford a few extra minutes, enjoy a drink in a café in conventional reusable containers.
Child care, personal hygiene, applying make — up cotton buds have become indispensable in the bathroom and on the dressing table. After use they go in the trash. And restocking of non-recyclable debris that accumulates over centuries in landfills, contaminating water and soil.
Alternatively, you can use sticks from biodegradable materials. Or just wind the wool on a match — as did our mothers and grandmothers.
- The most useful option from the point of view of good ear health and ecology is the rejection sticks in favor of hygiene with soap and water.
Toothbrush it is recommended to change every 3 months. This will help avoid the accumulation of pathogenic bacteria, the oral cavity will be fine. But nature is not.
Can count how many toothbrushes you sent in the trash for your life? What about your family?
Toothbrushes are made from polymers that decompose over 400 years. Processing they practically can not be, as consist of different materials (nylon, plastic, and rubber).
- Today the market presents the available alternatives — bamboo toothbrushes, the full period of decomposition which is not more than 3 years.
Bonus: how to deal with cigarette butts on beaches
Nothing is more annoying on the coast, like the mountains of cigarette butts. Of course, to clean beaches, there are special machines and fixtures, but it is much easier to prevent contamination. To do this, in many countries, guests are offered special cones for ashes and cigarette butts, they are easy to install on the sandy surface and as easy to clean.
More budget option — plain old tin cans.
How do you personally care about the nature? Share your useful habits.