Can it help to use environmentally friendly products?

Posted by Paul Williamson on

With an ever-increasing climate, our world is set to change for the worst. We have all heard of global warming and know of the consequences it is set to bring. 

Plastic waste on Urban coast

One of them being rising sea levels. This will change life as we know it. As some of the major cities e.g. Jakarta is on the brink of destruction this is because it floods houses and streets. Only to have millions of people leave their lives behind to be relocated to another city also set out for ruin. 

This is just the beginning, with an increase in temperature also comes drought, which means that big food-producing continents like Africa will struggle to grow the smallest amount of food. When large producers like this struggle the whole planet will become a war-zone. Fights for the most essential things like food and water will become an ongoing task. 

I don't know about you but this dystopian sounding life does not sound excitable for me. The question is how do we prevent this from happening. No matter the number of protests, government schemes (2015 Paris summit), world education on the dangers of global warming. Nothing seems to be slowing or stopping it from happening. 

It's not to say that using more sustainable products like bamboo toothbrushes or bamboo cotton earbuds is going to stop it at all. The only way we can overcome this is by 'the action of the masses', which includes everybody making an effort to solve this problem. However, it is a movement in the right direction. 

Environmentally friendly products

We know that it will never be the case that everyone will try to prevent global warming from occurring but using sustainable products can help slow the process towards slowing it down to give time for a solution to be made. 

 

So how will using sustainable products help to slow the process of global warming?

One of the biggest contributors to global warming includes plastic waste. Most of this plastic waste derives from a couple of things, one being humans using the sea as a personal bin bag and the other being waste sent to landfill wrongly sorted into the ocean. 

We know that this way of life will never change and so the only thing we can do is change the products instead of changing the ways of humans. 

We can do this by ensuring that most of the products that get disposed of in the oceans are biodegradable so that mountains of waste are not floating aimlessly in the ocean, intoxicating it with harmful pollutants. Which is why we ensure that all of our everyday essential products like makeup remover pads, toothbrushes, earbuds, etc; are all biodegradable.

One of the main products that are disposed of in the oceans includes plastic straws. One study published earlier this year estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world's beaches. Eight million tons of plastic flow into the ocean every year, and straws comprise just 0.025 per cent of that.

 

Can you imagine the mass of waste that lingers on this earth?

It would be virtually impossible to see all of it in one place to put things into perspective.

These straws do not only pollute the ocean, increasing the acidity and killing coral reefs. They also harm sea life such as turtles. Our wildlife not being used to plastic can mistake small plastic objects like microbes and straws for pieces of krill and plankton. Which is what most small fish will eat this enters our food chain as larger fish will eat these smaller fish consuming the plastics which we eat the larger fish and this enters our food chain. Not only does this affect fish but it also affects larger predators in the ocean like sharks and whales. Which there already is so little of. As well as, Turtles which especially suffer from plastics like straws and earbuds stuck within their nostrils. This prevents them from breathing and eventually kills them.    

Not just animals but other living organisms like coral reefs can also be affected by the waste. 

 

How does this happen you might ask?

Well, when the plastic eventually breaks down which it has been doing for years now it alters the pH of the water. The more acidic pH is not ideal for animals or coral reefs, in fact, it kills them. Instead of being the beautiful vibrant colours, they are they turn a sort of brown-reddish colour. Coral reefs are the life source of the shallows. It is where all small wildlife lives like clownfish, sea horse, crabs, sea snails, etc Without it, organisms like octopus and other fish have nowhere to hide from predators like sharks and larger fish. Which can lead to exposure this can eventually lead to whole species of marine life becoming extinct. Which creates a huge imbalance in nature.                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Where does the most plastic come from that ends up in the ocean?

Illegal Activity

Lots of people tend to recycle and while trying to sort all your waste into the right bins is helpful. It can still end up in oceans. This is due to landfill. There is just so much landfill nowadays that it is almost impossible to dispose of it all naturally or rightly this is why most of it gets released into oceans illegally and mass amounts build up. 

It's not as if disposing of waste into the ocean is ever going to officially be stopped or prevented and so to ensure no damage comes to marine life. It will help if you use biodegradable products because if they do by chance end up in the ocean they won't float around for years, be mistaken as fish food, block the nostrils of turtles, increase the pH of the ocean (killing coral) etc.

 

Throwing plastic in the bin when it could be recycled

The plastic you put in the bin ends up in a landfill. When rubbish is being transported to a landfill, plastic is often blown away because it is light in weight. From there, it can eventually gather around drains and penetrate rivers and the sea this way. Leading out towards the oceans

 

Littering

Litter dropped on the street doesn’t always stay there. Rainwater and wind transport plastic waste into streams and rivers and through drains. In which drains lead to the ocean.

 

Products that go down the drain

Many of the products we use daily are flushed down toilets, including;

  • wet wipes, 
  • cotton buds
  • sanitary products
  • microfibres are even released into waterways when we wash our clothes in the washing machine. 

They are too small to be filtered out by wastewater plants and end up being consumed by small marine species, eventually even ending up in our food chain.

A decisive move in recent months was a limitation on microbeads in rinse-off cosmetic and sanitation products, (this was introduced by the UK Government). So that these little plastic beads will no longer get washed down the sink and out into our oceans, however, there are many more items that can also contribute to the problem. 

 

Why bamboo is the perfect biodegradable material?

First of all, what is sustainability? 

Sustainability focuses on meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The concept of sustainability consists of three pillars: economic, environmental, and social. Also known informally as profits, planet, and people.

It starts out looking great. Bamboo can be a very sustainable crop: a fast-growing grass, it demands no fertiliser and self-regenerates from its roots, so it doesn’t need to be replanted. When associated with cotton cultivation, which needs huge amounts of water, pesticides, and work, the advantages are rather obvious.

But pause! Before you go off to restock your wardrobe, there are a few things to contemplate. For starters, although bamboo is fast-growing and needs no pesticides, that doesn’t mean that it is being produced sustainably. The majority of bamboo is grown in China, and there is insufficient knowledge regarding how intensively bamboo is being collected, or what sort of area clearing might be underway to make way for the bamboo.

Also, although bamboo doesn’t need pesticides, there is no guarantee that they are not being used to maximise outputs. However, in the last few years the Chinese government has cracked down on these more intensive processes and it is now considered extremely bad practice in the industry, which is great progress. As well as this, not all bamboo is produced in china lots of south-east Asia has decided to take on farming the crop as it proves to be a much more profit-driven crop which is cheap to grow and is perfect to grow in the heat of south-east Asia. 

 

5 reasons bamboo is eco-friendly

Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on earth.

Bamboo is an extremely sustainable plant. Bamboo can grow to full size in just 3-4 months, compared to standard trees which can take 30+ years to grow.

In the right conditions, it can grow 3 feet tall in 24 hours which means you can watch it grow with your own eyes.

This makes it a super sustainable alternative due to its naturally renewing properties.

Plus, nasty pesticides and chemicals aren't required when harvesting the bamboo. This means the cultivation is natural, and never harms the environment.

Bamboo is strong and durable

It’s no wonder that bamboo is oftentimes named as ‘green steel’ for its versatility and durability in construction, including whole homes now being built solely from this sturdy plant.

Bamboo has very good strength and lifespan meanwhile continuing to be volatile and light to carry around. With decent care, your bamboo goodies can be used time and time again without the worry of them deteriorating making them long-lasting.

 Bamboo is safe and hygienic

Bamboo fibres are generally anti-bacterial without requiring any toxic chemical treatments, solely thanks to its core called ‘bamboo Kun’.

Bamboo Kun is located in bamboo fibre and is an antimicrobial bio-agent which gives bamboo its innate antibacterial properties. This prevents bacteria and microbes growing on bamboo goods making it the perfect plant for naturally hygienic products such as bamboo straws and cutlery, keeping them sanitary and fresh.

Plus, when the bamboo is linked with food-approved varnish on top, it can stay stable and secure for years. 

 Bamboo Is Good For The Community

Bamboo generation and production provides the common industry and creates more well-paying stables jobs for locals in areas that require social and economic security. 

We believe in appreciating the environment, which is why we have executed a zero-waste policy guaranteeing any leftover materials and remainders are recycled or reused. 

We aim to reduce our overall waste, leave as few footprints as possible, and have a positive impact on our planet.

 Bamboo is Great for the Environment

 Bamboo forests have tremendous positive benefits for the environment as this astonishingly productive plant efficiently collects carbon.

 Bamboo absorbs 2x more carbon dioxide than trees, which is why they are known to act as carbon sinks. It also creates a vast amount of oxygen, adding up to 30% more than most plants and trees.

 As well as this, bamboo plants have solid roots in the ground which makes the soil more stable. This means it can support and restore the land and stops landslides. So in countries which are inclined to landslides, bamboo could be a suitable alternative.

 Finally, bamboo accommodates to protecting biodiversity and endangered species by building homes for a diversity of different animals. Bamboo forests preserve and defend the species living in that forest, by providing both homes and food. Don’t forget the giant pandas who rely on bamboo alone.

Subtropical forests are amongst the various valuable ecosystems in terms of carbon sinks, fixing carbon from the atmosphere. New evidence shows that after selective logging, bamboos replace trees in subtropical forests, which leads to decreased carbon storage. This decrease is far from trivial. The amount of carbon that a forest loses due to tree replacement by bamboos equals the amount of carbon liberated through the clear-cutting of the forest.

Try our bamboo face pads.

 

What will happen if we do not cut down on plastic?

The plastic crisis is serious. Our oceans are in pain, with whole ecosystems and species endangered by plastic. 

Why wash the dishes when you can throw your plastic one away when you’re done? 

Why use your cutlery at home when the takeaway has a plastic one you can use right now? 

It’s because we don’t force ourselves to take a reusable bag to the supermarket or invest money into finding a better alternative to wrap our food.

We need to change our ways.

Infograph of ways to prevent climate change

The great Pacific garbage patch is three times the size of France. Each day, we proceed to add more plastic to landfill, to our oceans, or to furnaces releasing toxic chemicals behind. If we continue down this dark path, what will happen in our future?

Landfill City

We’re now seeing the result of plastic pollution today. Plastic has infiltrated every corner of the world. No matter where you go and how beautiful you expect the landscape to be, you’ll see sweet wrappers, plastic bottles, and waste almost everywhere.

 

As plastic doesn’t deteriorate for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years, the plastic we use will continue to develop up in our cities and environment. Streets, parks, canals, rivers, and gardens will grow more littered. Children won’t be able to play freely, pets will be in danger, and widespread litter will create a repulsive environment for everyone.

huge amounts of plastic landfill in Malaysia

Extinction

There are animal species already dying to the difficulties plastic presents. This is normally due to ingestion or becoming caught in waste plastic such as abandoned fishing nets. If we continue to use it at the prevailing rate, ocean plastic will surpass all the fish in the sea by 2050. Sea birds, turtles, seals, and other marine life are all affected by plastic. They usually find deprivation as their stomachs fill with litter or they become surrounded by plastic.

When one species dies out, or even if the numbers disappear, it can have knock-on effects on the complete ecosystem. It could lead to a reduction of predation and abundance of one species. It can also lead to additional extinctions as the prey species goes out and predators run out of food. If this is the case, fishing for food will never be the same again. The fish may no longer be there.

These are just two of the issues that continued use of plastics will cause. Others include us continuing to promote the oil industry and driving climate change. 

It’s time to reduce your plastic use.

It requires all of us to make a few simple changes in life in order to make one big difference in changing the course of climate change.

Charcoal:

I know what your thinking. Surely charcoal is bad for the environment. I mean it burns right? releasing tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air how can it be beneficial. 

So perhaps as a source of fuel, it is not very environmentally friendly, however, when it comes to cosmetics is a great material it has so many beneficial properties. According to Healthline activated charcoal which is a fine powder version of the charcoal can;

  • lower cholesterol
  • tooth whitening-by absorbing plaque and other teeth-staining compounds.
  • Water Filtration- Reduces heavy metal and fluoride content in water.
  • skin treatment- Effective treatment for acne and insect or snake bites. 

As well as these properties charcoal is also much better for your face. With the large amounts of man-made artificial ingredients used in skincare products today the plants to produce these chemicals can produce lots of greenhouse gases.

Here at the willow trader, we produce two products that include charcoal a charcoal dental floss, and a charcoal toothpaste both in which are highly effective in the teeth whitening department. 

The toothpaste in particular as there is a higher concentration of charcoal.

Both products are also 100% natural. So you won't find any nasties within them.

 How changing products to eco-friendly sustainable products affects us;

Economic Factors

Saves money in the long run- because of fast fashion and disposable products. We as consumers constantly are buying the same products over and over again take cotton pads for instance. The amount of money spent on these products adds up after a while. So buying 1-2 sets of a sustainable product is one better for the environment and two much cheaper overall.

lowers world cost to dispose of waste- Because of less waste being disposed of there is less landfill and it costs less to get rid of a lower amount of waste.

saves charity money towards saving turtles- with less waste being disposed of. Naturally, there will be less waste in the oceans and the waste in the oceans will be natural and biodegradable which won't affect the pH of the water or harm any marine life. This means that charities won't need to be funded as much.

saves money on research methods and adaptation methods for prevention of climate change- With all these small changes in consumer trends research methods and adaptations methods to come won't need as much funding. With the world changes its mindset. We can change the path of climate change.

Social Factors

Helps to feel guilt-free- I don't know about you but I think it will feel good to be doing a good deed each day by just swapping out to a few sustainable substitutes. 

Helps improve living conditions- Here in the UK, we do not see most of the damage climate change is causing but that's not to say it's not doing anything. For example, in the Caribbean floats 10s of thousands of tonnes of plastic. This cannot be a good thing to see in countries where their main source of income comes from tourism.

Environmental factors-

Reduces oceans pH levels- If life was to carry on normally the oceans pH levels would become more acidic, as the 1-degree temperature change will make the oceans more acidic. With this, the marine life will not be able to survive.

minimizes pollution- without having to dispose of waste fewer emissions will be released as they will not need to be burnt. 

 

It comes into say that even if everyone doesn't swap the smallest changes in a few people can make a difference. You can be that person which makes a difference all it takes is a few sustainable swaps.

For more information on these subjects try these articles below - 

https://thewillowtrader.co.uk/blogs/news/bamboo-earbuds

https://thewillowtrader.co.uk/blogs/news/charcoals-use-in-bamboo-toothbrushes

 

 

 

 

 

 


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