plastic, Safe the planet

Bend me, shape me, anyway you want me.

That’s the refrain of a song from the American Breed and it’s actually about love, but it could as well be about plastic – the most versatile material in the world. We can form it anyway needed.
So what exactly is plastic?
It’s a syntetic material, made by humans and consists of polymers (long molecules built around chains of carbon atoms, typically with oxygen, sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen filling in the spaces). There also exists natural plastic, like Cellulose, but since the beginning of the industrial age the use of syntetic plastic increased drastically since it’s easy to process and cheap in production. Nowadays we mainly use those syntetics, which has a huge impact on our environment, as we produce and throw away an awful amount of it.

As it still is a relatively new technology, the environment and the animals didn’t have a chance to evolve with it and can’t process or break it down. This waste of plastic causes problems like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a giant patch of floating plastic in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean made from plastic bottles and packaging.
A platic bottel for example Needs About 500 years until it is rotten and you can imagine, when the trash slowly breaks down in the ocean, it turns into small particles, called micro plastic. (smaller than 5mm). As those small particles have almost the same density as water particles, the inhabitants of the oceans (or animals in general) have no chance to distinguish between things they can eat and poisoning plastic particles.
And as most people eat meat, they also eat the plastic particles the animals ate. So a part of our bodies is already poisoned with plastic. (there are also particles found in honey).

The only solution to solving this issue is a quick change in our education, thinking and behaving. #educationiskey
If we want to keep our living standards, we can not just get rid of plastic. Actually plastic is a pretty stunning material, that allowed the invention of a Million things. We would not have cars, artificial replacement for body parts or water pipes if it was not for plastic, but we need to change the handling of it – how we make it, use it and recycle it in the end.

You can already recognise that a shift in thinking is happening as plastic straws and bags are banned or forbidden in many European countries. In December 193 countries all over the world signed a UN contract to stop plastic waste to enter our oceans and society in general changes the consuming behaviour and this is where everyone can start, buying unwrapped veggies (especially at the local farmers market, at the bio store or if you have the chance at a package-free-store). Stop using earbuds, get packagefree shampoo and look into the constituent parts of the things you use and go for the micro plastic free version.

Together we can make a change.

#safetheplanet

 

bees, Environmental issues

Bee prepared

Imagine a life with veggies and fruits as luxury goods, because you can’t grow them in your garden anymore. You have to eat corn and rice everyday. The dystopia of living a movie-like life (Interstellar) could become our reality. Maybe even sooner than later.
But what could cause the situation that I’m describing here? Maybe an atomic war or aliens putting a hex on our plants? I’m talking about none of that, I talk about the dying of the bees.

Maybe that causes a little laughter, or you have never actually thought About these little machines at all, then you should now! And yes, I call them machines! They are responsible for 80% of plant pollination all over the world. That means, they are the most productive workers in the entire farm-working-chain (not in Sechuan/China anymore, because they are already gone there). Bees are responsible for 200 BILLION € profit per year in the farming sector. If bees, including all kinds of wildbees and bumblebees as well, are gone, so is 1/3 of the Worlds comestibles.
Agriculture would suffer a lot from what farmers and government are responsible for in the first place. It’s like a dog biting its own tail. It’s a dead end.

Number one cause for the mass mortality of our little busy friends is the use of PESTIZIDES. Especially GLYPHOSAT makes bees suffer a lot, it takes away their sense of orientation and when they can’t find the way back to their beehive, they will just die from exhaustion at some point.
Little sidefact: The permission of the use of GLYPHOSAT in agriculture got prolonged by the EU in Spring 2018, even as there are studies that confirm that this particular pestizite is responsible for cancer in human beings.
Especially the wild- and bumblebees suffer from building development, forest clearance and Asphalt coating. Their natural habitat gets smaller and smaller and makes them starve to dead.
Besides those two main facts, there is the impact of monocultures which affects their life a lot and the struggle with the varroa mite, which is a natural enemy of the honey bee, but this is something the apiarist knows how to handle (of course there are natural and chemical ways to treat that mite. both are effective, so why choosing the chemicals? Because it’s cheaper? Well, congrats!)

If society thinks of pollination, we think of honey bees, but they are actually not the most productive workers of their species. Especially bumblebees are diligent and dedicated workers. They work at any weather, they can stand the cold better than their thinner family members, and they are not as picky as honey bees. Bumblebees go for nectar and pollen and honey bees are only happy with pollen. Bumblebees also have a better sense of orientation and especially in Europe there are more and more breeders that deliver bumblebees to greenhouses all over the world. Of Course there are black sheep in the industry that just kill the bumble bees, when they start to get lazy and are ready for reproduction. Bred bumble bees are also susceptible for different diseases and it’s critical if they get out of the greenhouse and mix with the wild bumblebees, but I think that we are on a good way to #safethebees and therefore ourselves.

So what can you, as a simple Person, do to help the species survive?
Plant flowers with nectar and pollen, which have different blooming seasons, so that there is enough nectar and pollen all over the year and buy them a little winter house (you get that in most building supply stores) and let those houses face to the south, so that they have it cosy and warm inside.

Most important though is, that you watch out where you buy your food and if GLYPHOSAT is used as a treatment and refuse to buy it, if the answer is yes!

#safethebees
#safetheplanet
#glyphosatboycott

Health

Chemistry on my skin

Would you take a bath in a chemical solution? Well, I also wouldn’t! But you are totally fine with pouring chemical parfumes over your body and using other cosmetic products that contain plastisisers? I would recommend taking a second guess about what’s wrong here.

An overall study made by the federal Ministry for Environment and Nature Germany tested over 60.000 beauty products, and over 30% contained hormonal active ingredients, which are not forbidden in Germany and Austria (and so many other countries around the world – check out the law for your country!). The fatal thing about it is that those ingredients trouble our hormonal balance. The chemicals get into our blood-circulation-system via skin contact, because our body can not distinguish between our own hormones and the external hormones and in the end they all mix up.

Why are those ingredients even part of so many beauty products?
It’s the easiest way to create a UV-filter, which can be the cause cancer. So it is quite obvious that e.g. not natural-based sunscreens (especially the 50+ sunscreens) are chemical maces. But what could you use instead? Most natural oils have a sunprotector in them. I personally love to use coconut oil for my day-to-day routine, but it washes off easily, when going for a swim. For “sunbathing” I always go for sesameoil – it keeps away about 30% of all the UV strips.
Our second enemy are  the preservatives, called PARABENES. They also get you out of hormonal balance. Of course it is great to have long-lasting products, but is it really worth harming your health? I don’t think so!

So make time, get informed about the products you use and check the ingredients! The good thing is, that you can either make your own beauty products  (just check out Youtube), use essential oils instead of dangerous fragrances, or get yourself some plant-based products. The companies I can recommend out of personal experience are Ringana and Be my friend.

So don’t look for excuses for staying with the products you are used to  just because it’s comfortable, but do yourself a favor and walk the healthy road.

 

 

Environmental issues

I’m going down on my knees, baby!

…that could come in a sexual context, but I’m afraid I have to disappoint you. There is something going down on the knees though, it’s our planet, that has been suffering for decades and slowly, but surely it goes down and it looks like we will go down with it.

Today is EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY!

But what exactly does that mean? Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what the earth can regenerate in that year. So within half a year, the population needs, what the earth can provide within a year.

This is a devastating story and I will not leave you feeling empty, without any solutions. 😉
There actually is something we, the population, can do to #safetheplanet.

The Global Footprint Network has devided the steps to move the EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY into 4 approaches:

  • Cities -> smart transport systems could make your day-to-day life easier and help the planet to survive at the same time!

 

  • Food -> by reducing food waste (and every person is responsible for that) and increasing the efficieny in production the EOD can be postponed!

 

  • Energy -> completely cutting fossil fuels before 2050 is definitely possible. Not only is it good for our planet, but it would also reduce costs in everyones life. The technologies needed already exist, so the shift just needs to happen!

 

  • Population -> by reducing the birthrate (in 3rd world countries) we can not only safe the earth, but this also means that the biocapacity (living Standards/wealth) per family increases. We can especially work on it by educating girls all over the world. #educationiskey

If you want to know more about the topic or your ecological footprint in general, go have a look at https://www.overshootday.org/

This should bother all of us!

#safetheplanet

 

 

Environmental issues

Mayday: we have a situation here

We are all individuals, that want to express themselves and follow their soul, whatever that means. For me it means, I have to travel (a lot), get to know new cultures and explore all around the globe. That also means I am responsible for a lot of CO2 emissions, which is the absolute opposite of eco-friendly and therefore a down-side of my life that I want to do something about. But what to do about? Stop travelling? Stop exploring? Stop following my heart?

For your Imagination, a quick example. If i fly from Vienna to Singapore, I make 19.454 km, which means I generate about 5.200 kg of CO2 per flight. I would need to grow 25 trees to make-up for it ! Check out https://www.atmosfair.de/de/ to get to know your carbon footprint.

So what is it, that I can do to make up for all my travels? Planting all those trees? maybe not the smartest solution 😉

I started slowly, just one step at a time. I stopped using plastic bottles and went for glassbottles. I became really picky with everything that was wrapped in plastic, and always went for the plastic-free alternative, which felt so good instantly. As it became a routine to strictly ban as much plastic as possible, I expanded my horizon and quit buying meat from big Supermarket chains. Now I only buy from the local farmers market, or from a trustworthy butcher. This had a perfect side effect, as the meat was more expensive, I ate less and less and now I’m totally fine with vegetarian alternatives as well.

I figured out, that there are so many more options if you are serious about making a difference in this world. The first step is always the hardest to make, so give yourself time, read into it, think about it and then go for it. I bet, you won’t regret it. 🙂

#safetheplanet