On Biodegradable Detergents, That Free T-Shirt You Got and Water Crisis
Fresh water will be the most scarce resource in the next 30 years.
Yes, by 2050, the world's population is expected to hit 10b (we are at 7.8 and counting now). Most of this population growth will happen in Asia (India, Pakistan are set to face extreme water shortages in the near future) and Africa - places where there are already problems with infant mortality and disease due to lack of clean drinking water (Middle East, Australia and parts of South America are greatly affected by water shortages too). Conflict, mass migrations, disruption of industries, agriculture and food supply are predicted (only about 3% of all water on Earth is freshwater, and only 1.2 is accessible and not trapped in permafrost, ice caps, glaciers, etc.). Agriculture and food production (especially meat production) uses up tremendous amounts - about 70% of all available freshwater. We need 2,497 litres of clean water to produce 1 kg of rice and 4,325 litres of water to produce 1 kg of chicken meat).
So, to survive, to produce food and have economy running, we need clean water (lots of it).
*What Can I Do?!* You scream.
I believe that government legislation regarding water treatment, industrial water use, waterway protection, !allowed pesticide use! (toxic pesticides do not only kill insects, endanger bees and pollination and disrupt food chains - they also poison our soil and water) etc. can make a huge difference. So being educated (and asking questions to government representatives (and adding pressure on them) about what's being done is of paramount importance).
There is as much water on Earth now as there was billions of years ago. The difference is - quality and accessibility.
Another thing we can do - is not poison our own water🤷♀️
- Again, pesticides - even "greening up your lawn" can do real damage - only natural and biodegradable!
-Cleaning, cosmetics products you use! While food production and industries add most pollution into our waterways, the type of products we use affect what eventually will get produced more. Majority of cosmetic and cleaning products are not biodegradable (as in, some ingredients in our everyday products will simply degrade during wastewater treatment (and forget about the places where there is no water treatment infrastructure!), and some won't and end up in the lakes, ponds, settle on corals, poison food chain.
One person in a developed country uses about 5 kg of detergent for clothes washing per year! Add dish washing, floors, creams, deodorants - you get the picture!
Use natural soap for cleaning (ingredients should be LYE for bar soaps (or Potassium Hydroxide for liquid soaps), oils/butters, maybe some extracts and essential oil). Use biodegradable cleansers and cosmetics (like our products and many other brands out there). Simply "natural" does not guarantee biodegradability (natural is a very loose term anyway). Look for products that state that all of their ingredients are biodegradable.
Even amidst the commonplace greenwashing going on, most would not go as far as lying about having a fully biodegradable ingredient list.
And, Google, of course! I don't consider EWG or Skin Deep databases reliable. Instead, https://cosmeticsinfo.org/ or Beauty Brains blog on cosmetic science seem to use a more leveled and science-based approach when judging ingredients, if you want to dig in:)
-Be mindful of your consumption: buy only what's needed. 2,700 litres of freshwater is needed to produce even one cotton t-shirt! When buying/ordering food at the restaurant, it is better to get less and buy additional than to waste (it is not only food itself that's wasted, but thousands of litres of water per meal, as well as its carbon footprint.
- PLEASE, when spending time ts sea/waterways, be careful what you put in!