Bamboo: A Sustainable Choice in the Textile Industry

Bamboo-based fabrics have sparked controversy among environmentalists. There is disagreement as to whether they are ecological textiles or not. Let’s explore why the potential impact of bamboo textiles on the environment raises this debate. 

A durable raw material 

 

Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants and is considered invasive. It, therefore, has a tendency to over-develop itself. The trunk of the bamboo plant contains antibacterial substances that allow it to defend itself against insects and fungi. This is why bamboo does not need pesticides to ensure good growth. In addition, bamboo requires 4 times less water than cotton. Bamboo forests absorb up to 30% more CO2  and release up to 30% more oxygen than other types of forest. Its yield per hectare is among the highest, although it takes 3-5 years to reach maturity. Thanks to its vegetable origin, its fiber is biodegradable.

For all these reasons, the raw material associated with bamboo textiles is considered environmentally friendly and sustainable. This plant does not have the capacity to grow in our climate and comes mainly from China.

Like all forests, harvesting bamboo means that it does not escape deforestation. The United Nations raised a red flag on this issue in 2004 and since then several studies and more or less effective recovery actions have been carried out. 

There are two types of textiles made from bamboo. The first is called bamboo linen and the second is called rayon, viscose or modal bamboo

Linen bamboo

This type of textile is converted into a chemical-free yarn. A mechanical process similar to that used to weave linen is put forward. The plant is first milled and then pulped using natural enzymes. The fiber is finally combed and then spun. As this process is mechanical and natural, it is considered to be 100% ecological. However, this textile is still very rare and because of its rarity, it is very expensive, making it a luxury product. 

Rayon, viscose or modal bamboo

This second technique is by far the most popular. However, it requires the use of chemicals.

 

The chemicals used are soda ash, hydrogen sulfide or carbon disulfide. Its transformation process makes this textile considered as semi-synthetic. It is by far the most accessible bamboo textile on the market. In addition, Mistra Future Fashion, a Swedish organization explains that when bamboo is subjected to a process of rayon, the textile loses its antibacterial properties. 

Comparison with cotton

First, unlike bamboo, traditional cotton requires a tremendous amount of water, cropland, and pesticides. In the United States, the largest cotton exporter in the world, cotton cultivation accounts for almost a quarter of national pesticide use. Once harvested, the fibers are washed and bleached with chlorine which also has adverse effects on the environment.

 

A study on the physical characteristics of bamboo was undertaken by two Indian researchers: Ajay Rathod and Avinash Kolhatkar. Their research compared a 100% bamboo textile and another 50% bamboo / 50% cotton blended textile. The results of their research show that the 100% bamboo fabric has a significantly higher overall strength (breakage, tearing and wear) than the bamboo-cotton fabric. 

Rathod and Kolhatkar also cited another study by 2011, stating that the bamboo textile has a more elastic fiber and less plush. It also has high absorption and requires less dye than cotton fabrics to be dyed to the desired level. They absorb better and faster dyes to achieve the desired results.

We consider that although imperfect, bamboo textile (flax or rayon) certainly has less impact than cotton or oil-based polyester textiles. 

Result

We have seen that at the base bamboo textile comes from an ecological and sustainable raw material. We now know that there is an opportunity to turn this raw material into an almost perfectly ecological textile. However, the most traded bamboo textiles undergo chemical treatment. On the other hand, although imperfect, we consider that it is very favorable to dress in clothes from bamboo rayon than from cotton clothes that are both more polluting and less resistant. We also consider that bamboo textiles are much more environmentally friendly than polyester made from petroleum and that bamboo clothing meets several characteristics of the ecological textile sought and consider it as such. 

Bamboo: The Miracle Plant

All around the world, there are hundreds of thousands of different plant species,  but there is one plant that stands above the rest in terms of usefulness and speed of growth, that plant is bamboo.  

Bamboo is one of the most fascinating useful plants in the world. Although it may look like a tree it’s actually considered to be a grass. Scientists have documented over 1,000 different species of bamboo growing in various regions around the world. Bamboo forests grow naturally and stretch across large expanses throughout Southeast Asia, Hawaii, and many parts of South America. For centuries bamboo has been a miracle plant used by many as a  sturdy building material and a viable source of food. More recently new processes in bamboo manufacturing have made it possible to take an extremely hard substance such as bamboo and transform it into an ultra-soft fabric that rivals the softness of luxury fabrics like silk and cashmere.  

In a time when global warming depletion of resources and deforestation threatens the balance of the delicate natural world and its diverse ecosystems. Bamboo is making a name for itself as a viable solution and resource that’s both remarkably useful and environmentally friendly. A bamboo horticulturist from all over the world. Consider bamboo to be one of the most sustainable renewable resources known on the planet, this is evidenced in some species of bamboo that have been known to grow up  to four feet a day and reach maturity within two years a mere fraction of the 50 to 60 years it takes for traditional timber to grow to maturity and become ready for harvesting. After harvesting bamboo it rapidly self propagates and new bamboo forests quickly spring up preventing deforestation and soil erosion that is common with other types of timber harvests. 

Unlike other plants bamboo is naturally antibacterial and has no need for harmful pesticides and fertilizers that can be detrimental to the environment with carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere on the rise. Bamboo becomes a highly beneficial tool to clean the air we breathe. Bamboo and other plants convert carbon dioxide into clean breathable oxygen, however bamboo does it much better than your average tree. Stands of bamboo can produce 35%  more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees helping each of us breathe a little bit easier.

Bamboo is a unique product, bamboo have over 50 varieties from a foot tall to 50 feet tall but it all shares the same growth method which is it’s totally unique. A bamboo shoot’ comes out of the ground at full diameter it grows to full height in a matter of weeks it branches it Leafs and it’s finished. The combs are incredibly useful to make all manner of products. The shirt we’re wearing to bamboo flooring furniture fencing innumerable products the Canes are stronger than steel by weight. Thomas  Edison used bamboo as reinforcing in concrete in some of his experimental swimming pools and house structures because it was cheaper than steel for the same strength and lightweight. 

One of the more intriguing uses of bamboo is the recent production of bamboo into the ultra-soft and comfortable eco-friendly fabric. How can a material that has the tensile strength of steel be transformed into an ultra-soft fabric? the answer lies in the incredibly unique manufacturing process that allows us to wear this remarkable plant. It begins with the harvest of mature bamboo that is merely 2 years old, getting the cut as clean as possible makes it possible for new shoots to grow and naturally replenish for the next harvest in two years time. The bamboo is then taken and chopped into pieces resulting in piles of raw bamboo chips, the chips are then soaked in a solution that has been approved by the global organic textile standard. To ensure that this process is as environmentally friendly as the bamboo it soaks. This solution breaks down the bamboo fibers, extracting the bamboo pulp that is then dried into parchment-like sheets. 

Once thoroughly dried these sheets are ready to be ground and spun into a soft fluffy material refer to as bamboo fiber. The fiber is then separated and spun into thread which is used to create yarn for weaving. The result is a cloth that is twice as soft as cotton and is compared to luxury fabrics like silk. It can be made into products from t-shirts to luxurious king-size bed sheets. Bamboo fabric is a remarkable material with properties that are unique and fascinating. One such property is that the cloth is naturally thermal regulating keeping the body cooler when the weather is hot and warmer when it cold. It also wicks moisture away from the body keeping the wearer dry and 3 degrees cooler than other conventional fabrics. When made into bed sheets they are softer than 1000 thread count  Egyptian cotton. Bamboo sheets are truly a comfortable yet eco-friendly way to enjoy a good night’s sleep. 

Bamboo fabric is quickly becoming a viable resource for several retailers one such retailer that is at the forefront of bringing bamboo clothing into the mainstream is Cariloha. 

Cariloha starting in Southern California, create their first bamboo shirt, and as they did that they created 5000. But the 5,000 put it in their stores in st. Thomas and for giant Cozumel Mexico and in Jamaica. The shirts sold out all 5,000 in a week and a half. And they set out to create bed sheets bath towels socks as well as purses that were lined ultra-soft bamboo fabrics. They’ve been able to incorporate ultra soft eco-friendly bamboo fabrics that are twice as soft as cotton three degrees cooler than cotton and comes with your sustainable resource on the planet in bamboo and incorporate those into people’s daily life. 

Today Cariloha is the world’s only retail brand with stores that are completely merchandised with ultra-soft comfortable clothing and accessories made of bamboo. An ever-growing rich supply of bamboo makes it possible for Cariloha to offer products that are not only soft to the touch but have the green footprint of this renewable resource. 

Aside from clothing bamboo can be transformed into a countless number of useful environmentally friendly products that will help the world be a little greener. As resources continue to deplete bamboo stands strong as a renewable resource that regrows almost as quickly as it can be consumed. It is truly a miracle plant that will eventually grow its way into all of our futures and become a reliable resource for centuries to come. 

Marine Environmental Protection: Stop Plastic Pollution

The oceans are so big that in the past they were believed to be inexhaustible, there would always be enough fish and it would be easy to dump waste and toxins because they simply disappear in a large amount of water. But that’s not true. What you pour into the sea does not just disappear. Toxins and plastic waste pollute the oceans for a long time. , Seas are very sensitive systems. One of the biggest threats to our seas is global warming. With it, the temperature of the seawater rises. For this reason, native fish species that prefer cool water temperatures are drawn to other regions, such as cod. To the north, where the water is colder.

In addition, the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide acidifies the oceans. It passes from the air at the sea surface into the sea water and is dissolved there and thus bound in the water. This is actually good for the air because it reduces the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and thus slows down global warming. But: When carbon dioxide is dissolved in seawater, it produces carbonic acid, as in mineral water. As the name suggests, this is sour.

 

If the ocean becomes more acidic, the calcification of sea creatures such as corals, shells, and snails will be disturbed. Especially coral reefs are endangered and thus not only the corals themselves. Coral reefs are also home to many fish, crabs, and other animal species. They belong to the most species-rich habitats that we know.

Plastic Continents

Our seas are being misused as dumps. That sounds very dramatic, but it is actually a huge problem. According to estimates by some oceanographers, unbelievable 675 tonnes of garbage per hour (!) Land in the sea worldwide. Half of it is plastic. You know that plastic does not weigh much. To get on a single ton, a whole bunch of it is already necessary. And meanwhile, huge carpets of plastic waste have formed, which continue to grow daily. One of them is estimated to be four times the size of Germany. That’s unimaginable.

Plastic rots infinitely slowly. A baby diaper can float in the sea for up to 500 years until it dissolves. Animals can confuse floating plastic parts in the water with food or, for example, become entangled in plastic cords and ultimately perish. As the plastic dissolves into the smallest parts, it inevitably ends up in the food chain at some point and eventually also over the fish on our plate.

And it’s a really big and complex challenge to avoid this garbage. Did you know that with every wash of your fleece jacket, which is usually made of polyester or acrylic, up to 2000 synthetic fibers get into the sewage and eventually into the sea? No sewage treatment plant can hold them back so far.

Too Many Too Fast

But our appetite also threatens the oceans. The consequences of worldwide fishing are, on the one hand, overfishing of the oceans and, on the other hand, damage to other sea creatures. Overfishing means that more fish of a species are caught over a longer period of time in a body of water than they are naturally regrowing or migrating. What happens then, you can imagine – many fish stocks do not recover or insufficiently. Because the fish that are left are too few to compensate for the loss of their stock with offspring. Gradually, the oceans lose whole fish species in this way.

It is not easy for science to reliably identify and prove which fish species are as critically endangered. But the species that are well studied are already half overfished. The other fish species are thought to be overfished too.

Forfeited In Vain

Another threat is that the fishing gear used – gill nets, trawls, or “longlines” staffed with thousands of fishing lines – will take them out of the sea, and they should not be caught at all. So it can happen that marine mammals get caught in gillnets and suffocate. Protected sharks and rays are caught in trawl nets. Seabirds land in longlines with baits. But also fish species fall into the net and on the hook, which should not be fished at all.

Because this happens practically incidentally, these are called completely free-captive animals simply “by-catch”. He is mostly already dead or so weakened and hurt that he can not survive. This bycatch amounts to many millions of tons worldwide every year. This is especially dramatic when hunting for shrimps – for a kilogram of shrimp, up to 20 kilograms of bycatch are produced. This bycatch will be thrown back into the sea as it is.

Is not that a huge waste? This is something we should not be allowed to afford anymore in the current state of the oceans and the threatened stocks. And as if that were not enough, some trawls drag heavy chains or weights across the ocean floor. So they kill soil organisms and disturb or destroy habitats on the seabed.

Fertilized Seas

Danger threatens the seas also if too many nutrients get into the water. They are mainly from agriculture. To grow fruits and vegetables, especially in ever larger quantities and faster, they need a lot of nutrients. For this, the fields are fertilized. In heavy rain, parts of this fertilizer are washed into streams and rivers and transported into the oceans. This leads to greatly increased growth of algae.

If more algae are produced than can be eaten, they sink to the bottom of the sea at the end of their growing season, where they are decomposed by bacteria. These bacteria then consume too much oxygen from the water. So much so that it is scarce for other creatures on the seabed. Sea creatures like shells, even whole communities that can not just swim away.

 

Poisoned

Pollutants can enter the oceans via the air and over rivers. Heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury from industry, copper from water pipes, but also pesticides from agriculture. In addition, there are refuse dumped in the sea despite bans or left lying by careless tourists on the beach. This is so fast! The wind grabs the bag in which you want to put your wet swimming trunks and blows them out to sea. So a little carelessness of a turtle can cost you your life.

The oil is also a major threat to the marine environment. Again and again, it is disposed of illegally or gets into the water due to ship accidents. Particularly serious consequences for life in the sea are accidents on oil rigs, where large quantities of oil are released. It can take a while until a leak at the drilling site is closed. Until then, tons of crude oil gushes into the sea every day. A disaster for the sea creatures.

Shopping Without Plastic – No Problem!

With a bit of preparation and planning, it’s really easy to shop unpacked and plastic-free. Even spontaneous purchases are then easily possible. As? A basic set of containers and bags, as well as the good old shopping list, make it possible. If you have a zero waste shop near you, it’s even easier to get most of the staple foods and often much more unpacked.

Markets are generally more relaxed than supermarkets when it comes to the use of specially brought containers.

I also get olives on the market, and I also take a jar with me. That was one of the biggest gains, because the small plastic containers you get on the market were often leaking and my bag was completely oiled until I got home. To counteract this, they also wrapped the plastic container in a plastic bag. Therefore today only with vessel and I forgot it, there are olives from the supermarket from the glass. But it happens very rarely now, after all, I know when I go to the market. That really worked very well.

Of course, I buy my vegetables only plastic-free, on the market I’ll give it to me directly and pack it in my bike basket, backpack or my cloth bag, depending on how I’m traveling. If I shop in the supermarket, the same applies – only the handle to the unpacked vegetables and fruits and everything packed in the bag brought. Preferably I buy German products, but sometimes I succumb to the hunger for a mango or a pineapple.

For all basic foods such as pasta, rice, cereal, soup powder, lentils and much more, the Zero Waste store offers a great range. My parents in a small town in the Black Forest do not have such a shop, but even here a short search has almost brought me to the same goal. Because there is a city mill that sells all grain on request or directly unpacked. If you take a look around, you will be surprised how many options there are to buy most products unpackaged and plastic-free.

You can get yogurt in a pestle glass, with butter it gets harder and it depends on the offer in your area. Do you live in the countryside near a farm, you can get unpacked or determined in the glass, as well as in many unpacked shops. If this is not possible, do not worry, because if you take all other tips into account here, you will already avoid 80% of the kitchen waste.

Incidentally, I did not buy any new jars because I had so many glass jars of olives, yogurts and other foods that I used them.

Save The Oceans: Our Oceans In Stress

Oceans Donate Lives

Every second breath we do, we owe the sea. But we have unbalanced our last great common property ourselves. 

Our hunger for fish, the greed for oil and gas on the seabed, pollution, and littering have left their mark. For decades, Greenpeace has been documenting the ongoing destruction of the largest habitat on our planet and is fighting for the recovery and protection of the oceans worldwide. 

Water Is Life

Superficially, about 70 percent of the earth is covered by oceans. If you include their volume at an average of 3,900 meters sea depth, they represent over 90 percent of the total living space on our planet. For all terrestrial species, the oceans are the elixir of life: plant plankton in the oceans produces up to three-quarters of the oxygen in our atmosphere through photosynthesis. The microscopic algae are also the food source for all life in the sea. They are at the beginning of the food chain.

Habitat Full Of Contrasts

Most plants and animals in the sea need sunlight and therefore live in the upper water layers. With increasing depth, the light decreases and the pressure increases. At a depth of 1,000 meters, it is pitch-dark, and the pressure of the water column is 101 bar. That is, on the body of a living being – or on components of a deep-sea oil platform – weighs a weight of 101 kilograms per square centimeter. Even under such extreme conditions, a diverse life still exists. Under the motto “need is inventive”, the deep-sea frogfish provides a good example. Since he can not see potential prey, he attracts them with a trick: Above his mouth sits an Art Angel with a luminous organ made of bioluminescent bacteria. Attracted by the strange light in the darkness.

 

Oceans Regulate The Climate

Water has the ability to absorb large amounts of heat and release it only slowly and evenly. This is how the oceans balance extreme temperature fluctuations on Earth. From the solar energy that reaches our planet day by day, the oceans absorb twice as much as land or air. Depending on the intensity and duration of solar radiation and depending on how much freshwater the rivers carry into the sea, the temperature and salinity of certain regions of the oceans will vary. Temperature and salinity, in turn, determine the density of the water.

Cold salty water has a high density, so it is relatively heavy and sinks in depth. Warm water is lighter and stays on the surface. This creates strong upheavals and currents in the sea. Like gigantic assembly lines, warm and cold masses of water constantly circle the earth and influence the climate on all continents.

Five Perspectives On The Future Of The Seas

The oceans are the largest habitat in the world. But plastic waste, global warming, and acidification are changing the oceans. The research questions are therefore diverse and numerous.

The garbage and the sea

Everyone knows the images of the plastic islands in the Pacific, which are as big as a continent. Or from PET bottles, canisters and fishing nets that are washed to the stands. Living things such as seabirds die because they swallow plastic or get caught in the nets.

 

The bulk of the plastic waste is swept across the rivers into the sea or reaches the seas via drifts. Whether by washing synthetic textiles, the abrasion of car tires or as an ingredient of cosmetics and hygiene articles – smallest plastic particles get into the sewage and eventually into the sea.

How much plastic is actually on the sea surface, on the seabed, and on beaches, there is still no reliable data. Also, the impact plastic has on our marine environment or even on the food chain is still largely unexplored.

Scientists work on these questions in a research project within the framework of the European research funding initiative “Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans)”. The project involves ten European countries. The Federal Ministry of Research contributes 2 million euros to the research.

The research groups, which will participate in the project “Microplastics” of the “JPI Oceans” initiative, have already been selected and will start work by the end of 2015. Also participating are German institutes: the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research.

Raw materials in the deep sea

Rare earth, cobalt, nickel or copper are important raw materials and are used in many technical devices: Smartphones, lamps, rechargeable batteries or even wind turbines are only a few examples. Because the demand for raw materials is increasing and the mining rights on land have largely been forgiven, the focus is also on the deep sea. The manganese nodules lying on the seabed at a depth of 5,000 meters are particularly rich in valuable elements.

But what would mean a reduction of these raw materials for the marine environment, has hardly been explored so far. In order to find out whether deep-sea mining is ecologically responsible at all, the Federal Ministry of Research is supporting scientists in gaining insights into the deep-sea ecosystem. The “JPI Oceans” initiative is also active in this field of research. Part of the program is three expeditions with the research vessel SONNE in the South Pacific. The first ride was in September 2015.

Habitat coast

Already today, 70 percent of the world’s population live near the coast – and there are more and more. This makes the coastal habitat a highly dynamic economic area. Megacities – urban areas with millions of inhabitants, large buildings and a lot of industry – are increasing the pressure on the ecosystems of the coastal regions.

At the same time, climate change is particularly noticeable on the coasts. Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, storm surges, and sea-level rise will change the coasts and present challenges to humans as well: how must dikes and structures be built on shores to withstand storm surges? How big must flooding areas be to protect coastal regions from rising sea levels? These complex questions about the protection of our coasts and seas can only be answered together – interdisciplinary and international. The Federal Ministry of Research, for example, supports numerous coastal research projects in its framework program “Research for Sustainable Development”.

Oceans for climate research

The oceans cover about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. They host the largest interconnected ecosystem on the planet. In the climate system, the ocean with its sun and wind-driven regional and global currents is an outstanding factor. Because it can store large amounts of heat and gases, the ocean has so far absorbed about 30 percent of man-made carbon dioxide. About 90 percent of global warming changes are affecting the oceans. With in-depth knowledge of physics, chemistry, and biology in our oceans, we can close information gaps in the climate system and react to changes.

The joint project RACE (Regional Atlantic Circulation and Global Change) funded by the Federal Ministry of Research investigates the links between regional Atlantic circulation and global change. Changes of the future Atlantic circulation over the next 10 – 100 years are examined in detail. The results should help to estimate impacts on the ocean and the coasts of Germany and Europe’s coastal protection.

Acidification of the seas

Because the oceans absorb the carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere, they acidify. Atmosphere and oceans are in constant communication. When one area of ​​life changes, that has an impact on the other. So if the emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere rise, then change the oceans. They become “sour” because the CO2 lowers the pH of the water. In particular, the acidic water damages lime-forming organisms such as shells and corals.

The scientists have been investigating the influence of acidification on the marine organisms since the year 2009 with funding from the Federal Ministry of Research in the BIOACID (Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification) association. The project is now in its third and final funding period.

Oceans Are Threatened With Collapse: 4 Remarkable Attempts To Save The Oceans

Anyone thinking of plastic in the sea has beaches in Asia in mind. But the garbage problem also exists on our own doorstep. Researchers found up to 150 plastic fragments in the stomachs of turtles living in the Mediterranean. FOCUS Online introduces five organizations that face the fight against garbage.

Encouraging news from the German mainland: Consumption of plastic bags fell by more than a third in 2017 compared to 2016. This is shown by the latest figures from the Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung. But unfortunately, that is no reason to sit back and relax now. For the seas are also suffering from our enormous plastic consumption – worldwide.

 

“Garbage Island” – A huge garbage mountain floating in the middle of the Pacific

Plastic bottles in the stomach of a dead whale. A turtle suffering excruciatingly while pulling a straw out of her nose. Many people who consciously do without plastic have exactly those shocking images in their heads. Anyone who has ever seen Garbage Island, a garbage mountain three times the size of France and floating in the Pacific, cannot help thinking over its plastic consumption.

Such impressions have also made me buy more environmentally conscious. As part of my four-week plastic-free challenge, I want to find out if it’s even possible to live completely without plastic. Even if waste disposal works in Germany and our plastic waste does not end up in the oceans, we also contribute to pollution. For example, by fine microplastics, which is in many shower gels or dissolves from the clothes during washing.

Garbage is not just a problem in the Pacific, but also in our country

Per square kilometer, there are 1.25 million plastic particles in the northern Pacific. This is the result of a recent report by the environmental organization WWF. And garbage is not only far, far away in the Pacific. The Mediterranean is also polluted. It “threatens to become a plastic trap,” warns Heike Vesper, head of marine conservation at the WWF in Germany. Reason for this is unsecured landfills near the sea, illegal waste disposal in rivers and tourists who simply leave their rubbish on the beach.

4 weeks without plastic: Join in!

Join the 4-week plastic-free challenge and exchange your experiences, problems, and tips with me and other participants. Just join the Facebook group “Challenge accepted by FOCUS Online – Can you do it for 30 days?”. I’m happy about every competitor!

Although the Mediterranean consists of only one percent of the water on earth, it contains seven percent of the world’s microplastic. 18 percent of tuna and swordfish in the Mediterranean have plastic in their stomach, especially cellophane and PET, the organization reports.

Five projects in the fight against plastic in the sea

I started doing without plastic on the 1st of June – and of course, I did not feel like saving the world with it. But there are big projects that already do much more. I would like to introduce you to five of them today – today is the day of the seas.

1. Seas without plastic

Garbage not only destroys the Pacific and the Mediterranean, but German seas are also affected by the problem. In 2010, the Naturschutzbund (Nabu) started the project “Seas without plastic” in order to permanently demolish the North and Baltic Seas. The objectives of the project are, in addition to clean-up activities such as participation in the annual “International Coastal Cleanup”, above all prevention measures.

After all, “cleaning up alone is not the solution,” explains project manager Kim Detloff. Much more important are waste prevention and recycling as well as setting on longevity. Many electronics and consumer products could be much more durable if industry geared their product design to it. Therefore, the project is also involved politically.

2. One Earth – One Ocean

The organization “One Earth, One Ocean” also operates from Germany. It has set itself the goal to develop a “Maritime garbage collection” and thus to free waters worldwide not only from plastic waste but also from oil and pollutants.

Since 2012, the “Seehamster”, a four-meter-long catamaran, is collecting garbage in the inland waters of the Baltic Sea. In 2016, the “manatee” followed. On top of that, there is a small laboratory in which the seawater can be analyzed directly. She should already go on a global mission. In the future, “Seefarmer” and “Elephant Seal” will follow. The latter should be able to disassemble the plastic on board in its individual components and, for example, to extract oil from it.

3. Seabin Project

The “Seabin Project” has also set itself the goal of cleaning up polluted seas. The two surfers Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski have developed a trash can floating in the water. It can be used in ports, docks or in yacht clubs.

To collect garbage, the “Seabin” moves up and down, sucks water over the surface and passes it filtered – without garbage – back into the sea. He collects up to 1.5 kilograms of waste in a bag that is disposed of properly on land. Interested companies or clubs can buy their own “Seabin” for about 3000 euros.

4. 4 Ocean

 

“We are not paid for plastic, but for fish” – this sentence caused the two surfers Alex and Andrew to change something. A fisherman answered them in a conversation in which the two Americans tried to explain to him that his nets could also fish plastic from the sea and clean it like that.

They then developed a bracelet made from recycled materials. More specifically, recycled plastic and glass bottles. Internet users can buy it online – and help with every bracelet purchased to fetch one pound of garbage from the world’s oceans. The activities of “4 Ocean” also include educational and political work.

In addition, every month there is a special bracelet, with the addition of other actions, are supported. In June, for example, “4 Ocean” supports a sea turtle project.

Stop Plastic Pollution: Our Seas, Our Future

Exploitation and pollution of the oceans are a great danger and should be stopped, said Federal Environment Minister Hendricks at the United Nations Conference on New York. It took place on the occasion of the Day of the Sea, which the United Nations has been celebrating around the world since 2009 on June 8.

With the Day of the Sea, the United Nations draws attention to the value and the threat to the oceans.

Oceans are the largest ecosystem on our planet. The oceans provide food for humans and are enormously important for the climate: they produce oxygen and absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide. But their condition is threatening: “The oceans are evolving into a huge plastic waste dump, and these garbage masses in the oceans are affecting marine ecosystems,” warned Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks in New York.

“One thing is for sure: the filling of our blue planet has to be stopped, and for this to succeed, we must agree on a genuine change of direction here at the United Nations,” Hendricks urgently appealed to the UN.

Livelihoods of the oceans are endangered

Oceans cover more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface. They are the habitat for countless species of fish, animals, birds, and plants. But these ecosystems are threatened. Radical fishing methods cause species to die out or endanger their livelihoods. 30 percent of the fish stocks are overfished.

Climate change has heated the waters of the oceans. The result: 20 percent of coral cracks worldwide have died, another 20 percent severely damaged. The vital circulation, which globally ensures the exchange of cold and warm water, is disturbed.

“We estimate that more than 100 million tons of waste are floating in the world’s oceans, and the largest and largest garbage whirlpool in the South Pacific is an area the size of Central Europe,” said Hendricks.

Together for the salvation of the oceans

For the first time, the United Nations convened a conference on the topic of the oceans. The UN – Ocean Conference ‘s motto is “Our oceans, our future”. The World Community advised on the critical state of the oceans from 5 to 8 June 2017. “Never before have so many countries deliberated on the future of the oceans, which shows the drama we are now facing,” said Federal Minister Hendricks in her statement.

The conference sought UN member states to vigorously promote the Sustainable Goal of the 2030 Agenda for Life Under Water. “150 states will for the first time pass a joint call to action – a call for action – to protect our oceans – a huge step forward,” Hendricks said.

The G20 -Staaten has already agreed under the German Presidency on an action plan against marine debris. In doing so, the Länder commit themselves to register significantly less waste via the rivers and wastewater into the oceans. Countries need to improve their waste management and focus more on resource efficiency: waste generation must be reduced, waste must be treated and wastewater must be better purified.

Plastic waste does not dissolve

Plastic garbage, in particular, is a big problem: marine animals of all kinds eat plastic parts because they think they are food, and they die of it. An estimated one million seabirds die each year. Although plastics are rubbed in the course of a long time and therefore invisible. But tiny particles continue to exist for years.

In addition, plastic is often toxic, contains hormonal agents or plasticizers that slowly leak into the water. These pollutants are absorbed by algae, fish, and birds – and at the end of the food chain, they return to humans. “We need a different way of dealing with plastic, plastic is not marine, it’s recycling, and since most of the plastic waste goes directly from land into the ocean, it’s even more important to build recycling and disposal systems around the world. , Hendricks reported.

Environmental Protection – What We Can Do?

Pollution, climate change, coral extinction, drinking water shortage. Issues such as sustainability, environmental and climate protection are more relevant than ever. But what should we change concretely? What can we do?

Were we can do? The key word here is: thinking sustainably. Unlike the motto “after me the deluge,” we should strive not to wasteful deal with the resources of the earth. The behavior must, therefore, change a social change towards sustainability. However, this change process includes everyone: companies, states, science, but also ourselves.

 

Ok, even if it’s great, but it’s not about radically renouncing everything that could be harmful to the environment. Rather, it’s about rethinking, being creative, how we can produce the things we need and use, greener and more sustainable. This change will not happen overnight, but we can start doing it as well as we can now.

But the very first thing is: Are we ready for a certain amount of change in life? We have to know one thing: sooner or later we will not get around it. We got used to a lot of things and thought that things could go on forever. We have avoided looking beyond our own nose. We did not want to notice the consequences of our lifestyle. Change of life is probably also a renunciation of certain things. Yes, that can hurt. But let’s be honest, do we really need to have all the things we believe to have?

Become concrete

Think sustainable, beautiful and good. But is not that a common talk again, and ultimately nothing happens again, because nobody knows exactly what to do in practice? It should not stay that way. So how can YOU act in a concrete way?

1st step: self-check
How do I behave, what are my habits? In which areas can I actually change something in order to live in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way? For example transport, energy, and electricity, grocery shopping, toiletries, clothing, stationery, furniture, garbage, and laundry.

Step 2: Act
After good analysis and mature intentions, it is also important to put it into practice. This means, for example, Targeted buying or selling products.

 

Make a big difference at breakfast

Especially when shopping for food it is easy to take a step towards sustainability. Here you can make sure that the products have been produced environmentally friendly: The ingredients should be natural, with little chemistry and without the use of mineral fertilizers, chemical synthetic pesticides, genetic engineering and other additives that your organism and nature are not good. The products should also not have a long transport path behind them. Ideally, they come from your country or region. So you could think about what you like to eat for breakfast and which food you buy. Maybe take it to the family council. It may not require a big change to buy sustainable products here.

You can change much more than you think. Any grip on food is a clear signal to the economy. With each purchase, you determine the direction of the assortment. This can be seen by way of example of the organic products: In the past, hardly anyone attached importance to organically produced products, but over time, it became increasingly important to consumers to buy organic and sustainable, so that now almost no grocery store can do without organic products.

Who can afford it?

Of course, this question raises the question of cost over and over again. Obviously, sustainable products are sometimes more elaborate and therefore more expensive. Is this all affordable? What if I do not have that much money? But that’s exactly where we have to learn to rethink. What do we spend our money on? Do I perhaps forego other things, for example, to be able to buy more sustainable food that is really vital? It depends on what is important to us. And by the way: Sustainable is also much healthier for your own body.

Of course, there are the usual little things that cost no money but just a bit more effort. For example, you can be careful not to produce too much garbage, instead of taking a plastic bag with you for shopping or instead of going by bike to the store. These are certainly all small things, but these are not in vain, because we change our attitude with it.

Climate Change: Can We Still Save The World?

Only save the world for a short time.

Since I read the last scientific study on climate change, I feel different. In fact, I feel emotions that I did not feel before. Climate change has certainly occupied us for the last 40 years. But it has been too far. Until this study. Up to this sentence: The next 11 years will be the most important in human history. Because everything we change positively in the coming years has a direct impact on our future. On our own life, on our only planet.

 

I’m asking myself more and more questions that keep me awake more and more often. Questions that raise fear in me that make me doubt our humanity and make it increasingly desperate. If people from my immediate environment continue to accept things, do not want to explain their own children certain contexts, or perhaps just have given up, because “you can not change anything anyway” – what about our planet, our only home?

EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON EARTH HAS CONTROL OVER THEIR OWN FUTURE WITH THEIR BEHAVIOR.

But who is willing to disregard this fact, these facts? To get in touch?

Can a human being become aware of the extent, even take action? Or is it the opposite: resignation. Hopelessness. Panic.

How can we all speak together about issues that we as consumers have in our hands every day, without blaming each other or making us feel bad?

How can anyone leave their own comfort zone, see the big picture and make changes from the bottom of their hearts?

The situation is as it is. Everyone has a certain responsibility, even for their own, past decisions. But instead of getting upset, feeling guilty, or even condemning others who point out their own wrongdoing, that does not help anyone.

How can we release energy to be not just the change we want to see, but the change our children and grandchildren need?

All people who were lucky enough to be born in a country/time that is not marked by war and poverty – where there is a democracy, a health and education system, where food and water are flowing. Do not exactly these people have the duty to give something back?

All of these are privileges that millions of people do not have. Should not these privileged people not do everything to ensure that our planet is not completely destroyed by us humans?

WE LIVE AS IF WE HAD A SECOND PLANET IN THE SUITCASE. WE LIVE AS IF WE HAVE ANOTHER LIFE ON THE HIGH RIDGE. WE PLAY RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN.

Why do we feel superior to nature? Why do we think that we are not part of nature but can exploit it for our benefit? 

Leaving our own comfort zone?

Does our life lose quality if we do without animal products?

Is life no longer worth living if you stop consuming products that do not make you happy anyway? Does it hurt if we dispense with all forms of disposable plastic? Does it hurt us to pick up garbage from nature? Can we not sleep at night if we save as much energy and water as possible, or more often use public transport instead of the car?

Do we lose our personality, if we only show ourselves on social media from the “best side” and prove how great our life is? Or is it best to start talking about really important things that concern us all?

What happens when we question ourselves and our actions when we question all that our parents, grandparents, teachers, advertisers, and even politicians have “taught” us?

What happens when we strip every single layer of our expectations, beliefs, fears, and desires?

I am convinced that only when we seriously deal with these questions will we be able to set our EGO aside in order to preserve our habitat in order to be able to keep alive as a species of the human being.

We are all in the same boat, including politicians and industry. I am firmly convinced that we can be great. All of us should consider ourselves as a team that goes for the same goal.