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.

The consequence of salt spreading

An unsuspected consequence of salt spreading on our roads in winter is the contamination of our streams and rivers. In Ontario, some streams now reach a level of salt comparable to that of the oceans. An anomaly that has consequences for the environment.

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.

Why we should care about climate change

We are the first generation to feel the effects of climate change and the last to be able to stop them. If we don’t do something now,  the province of Quebec will be submerged under water by the end of the century if nothing is done to prevent the global temperature of the planet from rising by 3 ° C, as forecast by the UN climate experts gathered recently.

The urgency to act on the environmental level does not seem to be shared by the world’s great leaders. Yet, on a global scale, such warming will lead to accelerated melting of the ice in Greenland and Antarctica and an increase in water temperature. Under the effect of warming, it will expand and take up more space, which will lead to aggressive gnawing.

Environment - Climate ChangeIn Quebec, the tide will rush into the St. Lawrence to the eastern suburbs of Montreal. After the beautiful Old Quebec, Saint-Roch and Limoilou, the river will swallow Bécancour and part of Trois-Rivières, then all around Lake Saint-Pierre, from Yamachiche to Berthierville, before reaching the streets of Contrecœur and Charlemagne.

These projections aren’t only tall tales to scare us, they are based on the knowledge accumulated over the past two decades. They combine satellite and radar data. Québec’s economic future can not be based on fossil fuels or GHG emitting sectors. It has to go through projects that reduce the absolute carbon footprint and concretely contribute to lower emissions.

Environmentalists call for a revolution in transportation modes, which account for 40% of the province’s polluting emissions.

The planet doesn’t seem to be a priority for Quebec

After a scorching summer, it is said that the environment is the most important issue. The problem is clearly worsening at an accelerating rate, so why did people place the “Coalition avenir Québec” in power for whom, whatever their name may say, the future of the planet does not seem to be a priority. I don’t get it.

Each of us must be responsible for the ecology, this includes our choice of leadership. We had the choice to choose a party that would prioritize the environment and yet, the CAQ was voted in by the majority. I conclude that the environment is not important for the majority of Quebec’s voters.

The CAQ refuses to completely eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and is open to building new oil and gas infrastructure. They wants to relax the rules for protecting wetlands and refuses to increase water fees.

Like so many before, this political party prioritizes the economy before the environment.

Actions are more important than words and the majority chose a party that doesn’t care about the environment. People say one thing and do another. I am so disappointed.

The CAQ may have been voted in, but for our future, we must continue to fight for the environment. Let’s roll up our sleeves. Let’s fight, inspire and demand better.When citizens mobilize the impossible can happen.

Wild animals are fascinating

Wild animals are fascinating. Here are a few interesting facts that you may not be aware of:

  • Inbreeding tigers to make them white has left the animals with serious health problems.
  • Baby elephants suck on their trunk the same way kids suck on their thumbs. It comforts them. Adult elephants can die of a broken heart if a mate dies. They refuse to eat and will lay down, shedding tears until they starve to death.
  • Following the success of the movie “Finding Nemo,” clown-fish have become popular pets, and that’s led to over-fishing in the wild and even local extinction in some places. We have to remember that fish are also wild animals and should be respected as such.
  • The little brown bat species can eat 600 mosquitoes in an hour. Consider me a fan.
  • Caterpillars turn into goo before they turn into butterflies?

Wildlife provides many benefits to the ecosystem.

Moose may soon disappear from some parts of Manitoba, where populations are down as much as 57 percent. Let’s save Moose.

Why are recycling center catching fire?

Many batteries contain heavy metals like lead and mercury that can easily contaminate our drinking water if left to deteriorate in a landfill. This is why we can’t throw batteries in the trash.

This is why many think it’s better to throw old batteries in the recycling bin. Unfortunately, that isn’t right either. Did you know that recycling centers are catching on fire because of our old batteries.

Each city handles battery disposal differently, and you should check out your municipal website for specific programs that accept old batteries.

Preservation of the Ozone Layer

September 16th is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

Like countless other issues in the world, I hope we rise from the sidelines to rediscover that collectively, the world is in our hands.

 

Actions speak louder than words

At this point, I don’t know if we stand a chance at fighting climate change and saving our planet, but I sure won’t stop trying and pushing for it.

If a government claims to be an ecologist, it can not encourage the oil companies to develop to infinity, yet that seems to be the case with Canada.

Canada - EnvironmentThe Canadian Court was  recently very critical of the National Energy Board for failing to meet First Nations consultation requirements and taking into account the marine dimension of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project. The government was also relying on a study that didn’t fully consider the impact of increased oil-tanker traffic on the environment.

We need to stop talking about the environment without doing anything. We need to tackle the roots of the problem which is an unsuitable economic model that relentlessly destroys living conditions on the planet while exacerbating inequalities, putting priority on present profit over the lives of future generations. The greatest obstacle we face is not the resistance of my fellow citizens, but that of bureaucrats and governments for whom an ecological project isn’t important.

We need to demand concrete action to address the proliferation of plastics that end up in the oceans and are killing fish.

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