The future of the Earth is in our hands
A man builds a plastic boat and uses it to recover waste thrown into the sea, this news was shared by hundreds of users on the web.
With a virtual tam-tam the action bounces from one place to another, from one person to another, thanks to the network.
What is widespread regards an issue that shakes us, at an individual and social level: the ecology, the preservation of the world and the risks connected to the problem of increasingly rampant pollution.
Travel the earth
In reality what is behind the man photographed on that colorful boat is a larger project. It is called The Flipflopi and was manufactured in Africa: The Flipflopi is the first boat entirely produced with plastic waste and will soon sail for an expedition from Lamu to Zanzibar, with the intent of collecting what is thrown into the sea.
The precedents are not lacking. At the end of the nineties off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, Richart Sowa starts collecting plastic bottles (over 250,000) and recycles them creating an island, Joysxee, the Floating Bottle Island: destroyed by Hurricane Emily in July 2005, this floating refuge, an ecological manifesto, will be rebuilt thanks to undoubted tenacity and the interest of new investors.
From 2022 to sail the waves in search of waste will also be the Le Manta catamaran, presented at the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions: conceived by the French navigator Yvan Bourgnon, it is able to collect up to 600 cubic meters of waste, sorting the plastic from the material organic.
On the plastic theme, projects are starting to combine engineering and ecology, like Ulysse, designed by the French Simon Bernard, Bob Vrignaud, Alexandre Dechelotte and Benjamin de Molliens.
It is a boat that runs on non-recyclable plastic: launched in June 2018 in the town of Concarneau, in Brittany, it works with a propulsion system based on pyrolysis that transforms matter into gas.
Clean sea operation: do you help too?
How many wastes are dispersed in the waters of oceans and rivers?
The entity is incalculable. Plastic is one of the biggest problems … and it is there for all to see.
A simple walk or a swim is enough to notice the very high number of objects, of any kind, abandoned in the environment. It seems that every year there are about 8 million tons of plastic discharged into the sea, in some cases from illegal dumps, but not only that: we are also guilty.
Cigarettes, abandoned toys, food packaging … how many things we throw away! We do not realize that any forgotten waste, multiplied by all the inhabitants of the world, risks suffocating the earth.
The plastic particles are swallowed by fish and birds, which often risk their lives. In the beautiful Italian island Sardinia, in April 2019 a female sperm whale died off Porto Cervo, where it ran aground.
Together with the fetus, in its belly 22 kg of plastic: fishing nets, bags, detergent drums, disposable wipes. Similar cases are repeated in other parts of the world; in the Philippines a whale died with 40 kg of plastic inside the stomach.
An action for change: stop at the disposable
A greater awareness towards the disposable. In Europe, about 26 million tons of plastic waste is produced each year: about 10 million are recycled.
In fifty years the production of plastic has increased exponentially and today we risk being overwhelmed by a sea of waste, indeed we already are.
With 571 votes in favor, 53 votes against and 34 abstentions, the European Parliament will start negotiations with individual EU countries in order to make a series of laws under the banner of eco-sustainability operational by 2021.
Restricting the use of disposable plastic is the proposal made by social media with the idea of a one-week boycott: just a few days are needed to realize how plastic is a constant presence in our daily lives.
Those who travel see it even more sensitively: from the bottle of water purchased at the bar to the cutlery packaged or the earphones that the hostess offers us by plane, plastic envelops every aspect of our lives.
What can we do in practice?
“Be the change you want to see in the world” recalls a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi. On average, around 250 children are born every minute. Here at this moment on the planet Earth the world population grows at a very fast pace: these numbers that run fast, teeming with life that begins and dies, changes and opens up to a new cycle, show how incredible potential exists in the hands of each of us.
Through our daily actions we have the possibility to change the world starting from our little reality, the here and now where we are: an invisible change, a drop in the sea that multiplied by all the inhabitants of the world can become ocean.
DECALOGUE – 10 QUESTIONS TO HELP THE NATURE
1 WHERE ARE YOU?
Look around you, dedicate a moment of your day to the world around you … and get activated. Whether you are on a beach, in the park where you stopped today to take a lunch break or among mountain trails, you contribute to the cleanliness of this corner of the world. In two ways: the first is to throw waste paper in the baskets!
In the absence of these, remember that you can always use your pockets, or take advantage of a bag to throw away later. Wait a minute, before you leave there is another thing you can do: collect the waste you see.
Yes, it may be that you didn’t leave them that cigarette butt or cigarette butt, but can you imagine how long it will take before they are disposed of? Your simple gesture today will have a resonance for everyone over time.
2 HOW DO YOU BUY?
Vegetables, meat, fish: basic foods are often prepared in plastic trays wrapped in transparent plastic sheets.
The quantity of plastic used for packaging is incredible, and it is no coincidence that it takes up a significant amount of household waste, first of all beverage bottles, containers for food and detergents. Start actively choosing foods and products without packaging: in the supermarket and … not only. Outside the big distribution markets, from fish to fruit and vegetables, allow you to go and discover local producers and buy food produced according to nature.
3 HOW DO I TRAVEL?
Airplane, car, bicycle: often the vehicle we use most frequently for our journeys has to do with needs related to time and speed.
For the rest of the time which rule do you use?
We could talk hours of the questionable contradiction of paying a subscription to the gym and then reaching the places where we do sports always and only in the car.
Not to mention the anti-aging effect of the movement: according to the WHO doing physical activity at least 30 minutes 3 times a week removes obesity and depression helping the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.
This means move more as a philosophy of life. Because it is good for us and helps ecology. The bicycle for small errands, walking to strengthen the body and mind, car … in sharing.
4 WHAT DO YOU EAT?
AIt happens to everyone to be around and stop somewhere to eat something: no need to stop doing it or bring everything from home.
We begin to look at our actions closely and understand how to make a turn in a new sense. The increase of the freshness-saving style has led to a dizzying increase in packaging, it is one of the things that is easier to observe in a supermarket: biscuits or crackers packed in a box and in turn in mini packages of two or three pieces each.
This is just an example.
Whether you’re about to buy a sandwich at the bar, a plate of pasta or fruit, learn to notice how each food is packaged … and start choosing.
5 HOW YOU MAKE CLEANING
AHave you ever tried to reduce the amount of detergent you use by half?
Try to do it and in all probability you will find that the end result does not change. For house cleaning we tend to use quantities to say the least large of detergents and sprays of all kinds, in most cases highly polluting.
The winning rule?
Use them less.
And some products … do without them! An example for all is the cage for the toilet: in addition to being made of plastic, the tablet containing slowly dissolves aromas manufactured with materials that poison aquatic animals in water (it is written on the label but we do not mind).
All the sewage that we pour into the sink, from the edible oil (arghhh, there are separate waste collection!) To
the shampoo or detergents end up in the rivers and seas where you and many others will look for refreshment next summer.
6 HOW DO YOU CARE ME?
Lipsticks, blush, lip stick and so on and so forth.
Not to mention essences, razors, suntan and nourishing creams, shampoo, conditioner, sponges, skin and hair preparations.
How many are there and what are the objects of your beauty routine placed in the bathroom cabinet? Even in the toilet frequently the principle applies of disposable … and low quality.
So we end up buying a cream almost by accident, only because it is obvious, that maybe it will be added to the many we have and then fill with dust. We save, but only in appearance. Many products are manufactured with immense suffering of the animals on which they are tested.
You really don’t care?
Yet there is another way. Just start inquiring and choose better.
Certifications such as Ecolabel are a guarantee that the product is cruelty-free.
Maybe you will spend a few euros more for a lipstick or a cream, but you will better treat your body and the environment.
And maybe you’ll realize that you don’t need to have so many things, the important thing is to surround yourself with the right ones.
7 WHO ARE YOU VOTING?
You will be thinking about the politically and the people you choose to support: it is so, but not only. Where did you buy your breakfast jam, school satchel or your last sweater?
Every time we buy something we are giving our vote to those who produce it: this means giving one’s trust and, for those who create it, receiving support.
Attention then, when we complain that the prices of a craftsman are too high, only to complain again, seeing sadly closed the small shops that now struggle to survive.
This happens because of everyone’s responsibility: all those who live or pass through a reality, participating in his life.
Money flows through people and can be a means of achieving change because it allows us to choose. Support means actively contributing to projects that are good for the environment, whether in fashion, trees, food or otherwise.
Cultivating the human, creative, ecological part requires effort, awareness and vision: sometimes it requires the courage to make a decision
8 WHAT DOES THE BUMPER TELL YOU?
Stop and watch. That’s right, from a person’s waste. (this analysis also applies to spending!) We can understand its consumption, habits and soaring budget (if you want to learn how to save). Is there food oil harvesting in your area?
Apply jointly. The oil should never be overturned on the floor or in the sink, nor through the toilet drains: requesting a collection point will benefit the individual, but also restaurants, which use large quantities of oil, for example for frying.
A part of the household waste is made up of food waste, which today ends up sorted in the wet: those who have a garden can use the composter. In addition to recyclable glass bottles, a high percentage is taken up by plastic waste, including bottles, from milk to sweet drinks, food boxes, detergents or beauty products. Is there anything you can change in your consumption?
9 CAN YOU REPLACE?
This question is what can help a significant change in everyday life. The objects that we think are
indispensable in reality are often just out of habit.
A good example is about disposable wipes: you may not know, they are highly polluting.
Today there are new models, completely biodegradable: they cost only a few cents more and lend a hand to nature. In general what we need to change is our vision of things: we have used the disposable as a philosophy and we have been doing it for years, even today we follow this lifestyle which eventually turns out to be harmful and contributes to the superfluous.
An extreme of this logic is the destiny of objects: we accumulate many to then throw them at the first opportunity as soon as they break. We are inundated with disposable objects. Among the wastes that most contribute to pollution, worldwide, diapers for children and female sanitary napkins, a surplus multiplied by every woman.
They already existed once, today they have been improved: washable diapers can be easily cleaned in the washing machine and can be reused many times.
This does not mean having to adopt a blind fanaticism but simply starting to choose: yes to throw away for example on the road and for travel, yes to alternative eco when we are in comfort at home. This also applies to sanitary napkins: it is possible to alternate with the use of the moon cup, an easy-tomanage cup that allows us to free ourselves from the monthly cost of sanitary napkins destined to pollute the world.
10 WHAT DO YOU DO?
If every inhabitant of the Earth were to act, the change would already be a reality. The world in which we move today lives on technology. Social media are an important sounding board because it allows us to communicate miles away, spread ideas and practices, unite people across kilometers and territories.
But remember, your words or thoughts will not change things. Our actions make the difference. What do you actually do to change things?write / share your idea… if you want you could create a blow and answer … starting from the comments or inviting people to tell their experience / the project they are carrying out or that they dream of.
Maddalena De Bernardi