How an activity as simple as doing your laundry can contribute to pollution?

The reason why doing your laundry contributes to pollution is that tiny plastic particles escape synthetic fabrics such as nylon and fleece when they are washed and then spread to water treatment plants and lakes. Although, the issue incredibly obvious, most of us assumed that our washing machine filters were adequate enough to stop this from happening.

Better Filters - Better World - Environment1908 marked the introduction of the Thor. No not the Marvel superhero, but the first commercial electric washer. Today, the majority of people have a washing machine in their home or a washing machine service in their neighbourhood, which means everyone contributes to this type of pollution. I know that I do 1 to 2 loads of laundry almost every day.

The presence of microfibers in lakes is well documented by scientists. So this isn’t an alarmist article, but stated facts. It’s already a problem, one that needs a solution sooner than later. Knowing about the issue is half the battle, but doing something to solve it is a must.

What is the solution to laundry pollution?

In Quebec, researchers are installing about 100 special filters on washing machines in the town Parry Sound, to see if they reduce the amount of plastic particles that end up in the city’s wastewater treatment plant. It’s a small town so the result should be easy to detect.

These scientists are working on making sure that laundry no longer contributes to pollution. I don’t know about you, but just knowing that people are working on finding a solution to this issue makes me feel better about the situation.

The impact of microfiber consumption on human health is poorly known unfortunately. Researches are underway to assess exactly how small particles affect us. I’m guessing our systems weren’t meant to digest linen.

How can we combat climate change in the city?

Let’s stop denying global warming or climate change and start doing something about it. One way to combat global warming is to make our cities more green.

Climate Change - Global Warming
How can we combat global warming in urban areas?

As an effort to combat climate change, there are things that we can do immediately, in our urban areas, that can help. For example, by building our greenhouses on urban rooftops, we are able to use half the energy of a comparable greenhouse.

We can also combat climate change by building parks in urban areas, the trees in them clean the air and the park themselves give the citizens a place where they can relax, take a deep breath and reconnect with nature. It also serves as a cooling counterbalance to the heat created by all the concrete and asphalt.

“The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.” – Rabindranath Tagore

What is the true cost of our clothing choices?

Think about the time and labour our ancestors put into creating fabric and clothing. It’s easy to understand why clothing was so highly valued.

Climate change is a threat

We are becoming more aware of what we eat and what we put on our bodies. We try to be careful about the type of cosmetics and other personal care products  we choose. We are becoming more aware of the social or environmental impacts or benefits of their consumption choices. This awareness is also beginning to affect parts of the apparel and fashion industry.

Currently, we buy a lot more clothes than we did 20 years ago. This is because of the change of seasons, style, capitalism (the idea that you can’t wear the same dress 2 holiday parties in a row). 

Fair working conditions to challenge the integrity of supply chains are becoming increasingly important, especially since the switch from natural materials to synthetic petrochemicals.

Who makes our clothes and how does it affect our planet?

There are a few reasons why our current fashion and apparel industry is problematic, but this is the biggest 2: 

  1. Fashion is the largest employer of women around the world, but only 2% of these workers receive a living wage.
  2. Aside from crude oil, fashion is the most polluting industry in the world. Did you know that it takes 2700 litres of water and 150g of chemicals to create a cotton t-shirt, with 20% of the world’s industrial water used to dye textiles, which affects the water supply and quality for people. people and the environment where dyeing takes place. I knew it was a lot, but seeing the numbers is eye opening. If climate change isn’t enough to disturb you, then think about the following: residual chemicals on clothing include lead, pesticides, insecticides, flame retardants and other known carcinogens, which are found on our largest organ, the skin.

Is there a solution?

Buy less clothes, but buy better quality. Make our money talk and make our actions work toward a world we want to see. 

There are many researchers, companies and communities working closely with nature, be it hemp, seaweed, pineapple, and bamboo to create materials for clothing. All of these innovations and research can be expensive and usually aren’t made in great quantities. I personally don’t mind having more unique choices. Our work office often feels like we are all clones since we all shop at the same places. Unfortunately, if you have financial issues like me, you can’t always choose the more expensive option.

Where are the icebreakers?

Last January, after an ice storm, Mayor Valérie Plante announced the acquisition of these rotary icebreakers worth nearly $ 20,000 each. She explained that because of climate change, we will be increasingly confronted with this phenomenon. We must adapt our armada. I fully agree with this decision, but why haven’t we seen them at work yet?

The heavy rain followed by the freezing cold seemed a great opportunity to get out the new artillery. That was not the case. Citizen have been going to their local stores and buying salt to take care of the sidewalk, because the city isn’t doing it.

First instinct may be to think that our tax money went to purchase something that is going to stay permanently in the garage. The explanation given by the city is that the ice isn’t thick enough yet. If they use the icebreakers, it will destroy the sidewalks.

Acknowledging last year’s icebreaking failures, the Plante administration promised in the fall that frozen sidewalks were a thing of the past. Maybe instead of promissing the moon, they should have explained how the icebreakers work. Yes, it’s an improvement, no it doesn’t mean that people won’t be slipping on icy sidewalks anymore.

Is tourism killing the environment?

Most people like to travel and go on vacation. I know I do, although I rarely get to do so because it’s also expensive. There are 1 billion tourist that visit other countries in the world every year. In this age of mass tourism, when more of us than ever are leaving home for more exciting climates.

Travel and the environmentUnfortunately, tourism often puts pressure on natural resources through over-consumption, often in places where resources are already scarce.

There are many things that put pressure on coral reefs. For example, 80% of the coral around the Maya bay has been destroyed, the result of millions of boats dropping anchor on it, tourists treading on and picking it, or poisoning by rubbish and sun-cream.

Moose Drowns in Lake Camplain trying to escape tourists who were chasing him.

Knowing is half the battle. When researching your next travel destination, also research how you can help the environment.

Disasters in Canada on the rise

Did you know the average number of disasters in Canada has doubled in the past three decades? Theses disasters impact people. 63% of Canadians surveyed reported having experienced some form of disaster or emergency.

We need leaders who believe in science and are dedicated to protecting both human health and our environment.

Disaster can happen at any time. It could be a winter storm, a springtime flood, a summer hail or a fall tornado, whether you are on the road or at home, it’s best to be prepared. Having a home and a car emergency kit can keep you comfortable and potentially even save your life.

What should be in your car’s emergency kit?

  • Antifreeze (in winter)
  • A warm blanket
  • Cash
  • Essential prescriptions
  • Extra clothing, shoes or boots
  • First aid kit that includes a seatbelt cutter. You can find those at your local hardware or department store.
  • Jumper cables
  • Non-perishable food
  • Salt, sand or non-clumping cat litter (in winter)
  • Shovel
  • Snow-brush (in winter)
  • Tow rope
  • Warning light and whistle
  • Water bottles (note that they must be replace every 6 months)
  • Windshield washer fluid

What should be in your home’s emergency kit?

  • Cash
  • Essential prescriptions
  • Extra clothing, shoes or boots
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Non-Perishable food.
  • Warm blankets
  • Water bottles (note that the water must be replace every 6 months)

Bumblebees are dying

Habitat losses of many bumblebee species from climate change are about to accelerate. If we leave climate change out of control, the appearance of this planet’s vegetation will be totally different from what it is today.

Bumblebees can pollinate flowering plants for much of the year. They frequent forests, mountainous regions, peat bogs, fields and other places where nectar plants flourish.

Bumblebees are dyingThese insects use a pollination technique of their own, vibration pollination, which allows them to collect pollen from the flowers by vibrating the muscles of their wings.

As a result, they play a direct role in maintaining the diversity and abundance of wild plant species and participate in the proper functioning and stability of natural ecosystems.

Climate change will affect agricultural areas, where bumblebees are already struggling to survive habitat destruction and aggro-chemicals, further threatening the critical role they play.

It is therefore important to develop large-scale strategies to improve the chances of survival.Environmental protection measures, such as the preservation of wildflowers and raspberry plants, which these insects are fond of, can also help them.We can also create gardens where the favorite bumblebee flowers grow. This can help them move between urban parcels and travel through different landscapes.

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