Are You one of the Sources of Water Pollution?
One of the most important resources in the world is water. Without it, life would not be sustainable, Earth would have no plants, no animals and therefore no us. Every day, we are supposed to drink eight glasses of the stuff, we use it to clean, to cook, to water plants, to create energy and more. The effects of water pollution are so influence entire planet. So, why we aren’t trying harder to reduce the sources of water pollution?
Sources of Water Pollution
The number one source of water pollution is humans. Plain and simple, we create so much useless garbage and trash and chemicals, that we don’t even know what to do with it all. and instead of using anything more than once we just throw things away and replace them with new ones.
Of the 300 million tonnes of plastic made every year , around half is for single use items. This includes one of the most useless inventions, but also a very popular invention, the straw. Why do we need them? What is wrong with the side of the glass? You may argue, ‘I don’t want to put my lips on it’, but if you wouldn’t put your lips on it why would you drink out if it? However, it isn’t just straws, it’s plastic bags, disposable plates, and cups and cutlery, and plastic bottles and the list just doesn’t stop.
The amount of pollution that goes into our waterways and oceans each year is terrifying. Oil, plastic, gasoline, garbage, and detergents are just a few examples. Plastics can take more than 450 years to decompose, they also hurt and entangle animals on a regular basis. Oils, detergents, and gasoline are toxic to animals, can kill them, and destroys habitats and ecosystems. Millions of marine animals die every year due to pollution, including seabirds, fish, sea mammals, dolphins, and porpoises.
In our homes, our work places, our yards, and everywhere else we use all kinds of chemicals. Whether they be detergents for laundry of cleaners, or fertilizers, or some scary chemical like paint thinner they all eventually end up in the water systems. As we use them we don’t always think of this, it goes down the drain and then ‘bye-bye.’ We believe that those chemicals are no longer our problem, that the municipality will sort it all out and that’s that. The truth of the matter is that it is most definitely still our problem, and the municipality *let’s be honest now,) probably isn’t doing as good a job as they could or even should be.
Everyone knows that oil and water don’t mix, but that’s not stopping us from allowing oil to pollute our waters. Oils don’t just come from tanker spills and improper disposal by people and companies, they come from gasoline and exhaust fumes. Each time it rains the exhaust in the air is pushed back down to the surface and washes away to the rivers and oceans. Not to mention the soot from the vehicles that was already sticking to the roads and sidewalks.
What is an even bigger surprise, is that most of the oil found in our ocean is due to steady drips and not oil spills. This means that the boats and cars actually cause more pollution in our oceans each year than oil spills do. Oil spills, though disastrous events, are actually cleaned up to some degree, and animals affected are generally treated if possible. On the other hand, oil that continuously drips into the ocean is left to decompose on its own.
The Numbers terrify me
I want to make this as plain and simple as I can because I truly want you to understand the immense size of this gargantuan problem. First off, we create approximately 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic every year. That is way more than a lot of plastic. Of that 8.3 billion tonnes we recycle a meager 9%. To be honest with you that is pathetic. I know for a fact we can do better than that. Of the other 91%, 70% goes to landfills and the remaining 21% ends up in the water.
8.3 billion tonnes guys, 8.3 BILLION TONNES of plastic. There aren’t even that many people on this planet. Think about that… That’s more than 1 ton or plastic per person…
*Image credit goes to the Ocean Conservancy, check them out for more information!
What you can do
Now that we have a good idea of the sources of water pollution, we need to do what we can to help. It’s easy, you just need to change some habits.
- Recycle!: If there’s only 9% of plastic being recycled then lets recycle more! Simple.
- Use a water bottle: Stop buying bottled water and drinks. it not only saves plastic but also your money.
- Keep a clean Thermos in your car: Next time you go for coffee have them fill your thermos instead of a disposable cup.
- Say no to straws: Straws are unnecessary! if you don’t want to drink from their glasses then maybe you should rethink where you are buying your drinks from.
- Stop using single use plastics: having a party or bbq? Use reusable dishes instead of throw aways. Its a little extra work but its worth it!
- Ban the Bag: start using reusable shopping bags instead of throw-away plastic ones from the store.
- Use green cleaners: Vinegar and a light earth friendly soap will go a long way in any household.
- Reduce transport emissions: try using public transit and carpooling more often. Or better yet walk and bike to your destination.
- Tell your friends: encourage others to learn about the sources of water pollution and maybe they will do their part to.
It doesn’t take much
Simple changes like this can reduce the amount of plastic you use. Hopefully, the notion will catch on and eventually water pollution will be a thing of the past. Just remember that neither us nor the waters can wait for the sources of water pollution to be eliminated.
Some Other Articles you Might Like
I often wonder, is it a lack of education, or a lack of interest? When I take people diving I always like to show them the signs for the marine life we are likely to encounter. Yet it seems that usually, whenever I mention frogfish or nudibranchs I am met with looks of confusion.read more
Frogfish, or as I like to call them, the pug of the ocean, is a species of fish that is unique and interesting. These adorably ugly fish are a favourite among many divers as they can be very rare and difficult to spot. Being a type of anglerfish they are fascinating to watch, and sometimes exhibit odd and endearing behaviours.read more
Most times the news is rancidly depressing, I often scroll my feeds and see greed and ignorance eating up our planet without remorse. Which is why I want to share a positive story with you about an amazing young mind, that of Boyan Slat and his battle against water pollution.read more