We wonder who our readers are? Are you from Generation X, who were born between 1965 to 1980, or from the Millennials, who were born between 1981 to 1995, or from Generation Z, those who were born between 1996 to 2010.
For those born during Generation X or earlier, in the Baby Boomers or The Silent Generation or prior, they will see a lot of differences, we - humans have made to the world we live in, the impact to our beloved mother nature.
In the past, our ancestors were living quite a distance from each other, and were living in harmony with the environment, compared to us now living literally next to each other in semi-detached houses, or compacted into high rise buildings, and when we open our windows or doors, we see our neighbours’ houses.
Another huge difference is in the transportation mode, from using animals to pull the carts, now we use motorized mechanisms, such as motorbikes, cars, vans, lorries, trains, helicopters, aeroplanes, ships, yachts, vessels, etc.
If we compare the environment we live in 50 years ago or even 25 years ago to now, how congested everything is now, from housing to vehicles on the road, to the industrial areas located next to the housing areas, shopping complexes, hotels, etc, these non-stop constructions are polluting the environment.
With modern technologies, humans are racing to create more things to make our lives easier and make more money, and forgetting the impact to us, living organisms and the environment.
We are all too busy living in the “now” and forgetting about the future generations !
Those who created or mass produced products without taking into consideration the harms done to the environment, animals and humans, are destroying our planet, as we all can see the amount of air pollution, land pollution and water pollution being reported from time to time, when tragedies happened like flash flood damaging private properties, wild fires damaging the forest, killed animals and destroyed houses, etc.
It is evident that those harms have caused us climate changes and global warming. We must acknowledge and reduce these damages done to the environment to maintain the quality of life or mother nature’s ecosystems for the next generation.
The one great thing that Covid-19 Pandemic has shown us is that when we, humans, are being grounded in the house, manufacturers stopped their operations, less pollution from vehicles on the road, within 3 months, the earth is healing, as reported by environmentalists and TV stations.
How Are Eco-Friendly Products Good For Us And The Environment?
We all know that eco-friendly products are not only good for us, they can significantly improve the environment by reducing waste, energy, and chemicals.
Why these products are not harmful to the environment are because they use natural ingredients, minimal necessary quantities, plant based and non-harmful chemicals used.
The terms eco-friendly, earth-friendly, mother nature-friendly and environmentally friendly means that these products do not harm the environment during its production, packaging, transportation, being used or when they are being disposed of.
The process of disposal requires these eco-friendly products to be biodegradable, which means that they are capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms and absorbed into the earth to avoid polluting the environment.
Another reason why eco-friendly products are good for the environment, hence good to us too, are because they are recyclable - either they can be reused multiple times, or when they need to be disposed of, they are biodegradable.
Eco-friendly products are more durable because they need to be re-usable multiple times, less toxic, labour and resources, therefore, they are safer for the environment, wildlife, and people.
When mother earth is thriving and healthy, not being polluted, the plants, animals and us, human, benefit from the resources mother earth provides to us.
The three major impacts to the environment from human activities are:-
- global warming and climate change from the greenhouse effects - extreme heat, wildfires and floods.
- water pollution and ocean acidification from the improper waste disposal when plastics and chemical residues are leached into the rivers, seas, etc.
- loss of biodiversity from the harmful chemicals used.
As there are plenty of eco-friendly products in the market, and by supporting these eco-friendly products, we will help in reducing the environmental impacts.
Other than the impact on our health, how these non-eco friendly products impact our environment.
Chemicals used can contaminate our earth and water quality.
- As these products are mass produced, during the manufacturing process large quantities of water, which is a non-renewable essential resource for all living existence, are wasted and contaminated.
- When these chemicals enter the soil, they cause adverse effects on flora in the area, especially on the germination of plants, and if large amounts of these chemicals are in the soils, it leads to the destruction of the soil structure, threatening the plant's health as well as our health too ! Link 3
- For example, non-eco friendly soaps using 19 active ingredients such as triclosan (liquid soaps) and triclocarban (bar soaps), residues can also cause problems to aquatic bacterial life, especially corals and seaweed and the reduction in the population of sea plants threatens sea species dependent on them for spawn, protection, home, and food. Links 4 & 8
- The chemicals in the non-eco friendly soaps containing the 19 active ingredients could contribute to antibiotic resistance and to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that may pose severe threats to the ecosystem and adversely affect aquatic organisms. Links 3 & 8
- These antibacterial additives in the non-eco friendly soaps can sabotage wastewater treatment processes that depend on microbial activity, and under sunlight, produce chloroform in water classified as a probable human carcinogen.
- Another example is the PCBs - it accumulates in the food chain when bigger fish consume contaminated smaller fish or organisms, and as it moves up the food chain, it can reach levels thousands of times higher than the actual levels in the water.
Deplete oxygen in the water that affects the microbes and fish. Link 4
- Some chemicals like phosphates, phosphonates or per carboxylates, which are being used as enhancers, contaminate by releasing toxins in our waterways and these substances act as algae fertilisers, causing them to reproduce very quickly.
- These algaes depletes the oxygen in the water that microbes and fish need to survive, and these algaes also generate bad odours.
- They also alter the chemical and physical parameters of water like pH, turbidity, salinity, and temperature.
- These chemicals are harmful to the environment, because once you wash them down the sink, even after filtering through treatment plants, chemicals such as triclosan can still be detected in waterways, and these chemicals disrupt plants ability to perform photosynthesis – damaging the area’s ecosystem.Link 5
Non-biodegradable packaging causes significant harm to our environment. Link 1
- Packaging is a modern convenience that was developed to protect goods and make them easier to transport, whether in bulk for commercial purposes or retail sizes for consumers.
- What we have taken for granted is that modern conveniences of using plastic and non-biodegradable materials to make various consumer goods like bottles and caps, for wrappings (e.g. bubble wraps), tape, straws, cups, styrofoams, boxes or cartons, etc, which can’t be recycled, is one of the causes of serious environmental problems for our planet.
- Not everyone is aware how harmful these non-recyclable products are to our environment and its effect on our climate change.
- We are not aware that these packaging materials actually emit toxic pollutants or poisonous gases that affect our health and the environment.
- Non-biodegradable materials can’t be broken down and absorbed into the environment; air, sunlight, water, and ground soil. These wastes continue to fill-up our landfills and we continue to find more landfills to dispose of these non-biodegradable materials.
- The greenhouse gas called methane produced from the polystyrene (EPS) foam and plastic is one of the main contributors for the rapid increase in global temperature.
- Not only has it caused global warming, it also caused flooding because the hotter temperature causes sea levels to rise.
- The groundwater that was supposed to drain out into the sea stays inland, especially during heavy rainfall and these uncomposed materials clog the sewage systems that prevent proper drainage.
- The improper disposal of plastic containers and packaging can cause insect and pest infestation like mosquitoes, worms and rodents and they bring diseases like leptospirosis and dengue fever.
Air/Dust pollution from the mass produced non-eco friendly products. Link 4, 5 & 6
- Quality of air affects our health and other living organisms in the environment, whether on the land or in the water.
- Air/dust pollutants come from:-
- Transportation - fumes from the number of vehicles on the roads, aeroplanes in the air and ships in the seas.
- Industries - the high quantity of exhaust gases released by the various chemical plants, thermal power stations, petroleum refineries, quarries and cement plants, the incineration of waste, factories, etc.
- Open burning from the agriculture sectors, industries and individuals/domestic.
- Odour emitted from transportation, industrial and manufacturing activities, open burning, etc.
- How do these air and dust pollutants affect humans and other living organisms?
- The particulate matter containing microscopic particles whether solid or liquid gets into our lungs and bloodstream when we breathe.
- The living organisms or plants get covered by the dust that affects their photosynthesis process that transforms carbon dioxide into oxygens.
- Contaminate our water sources and affect the living organisms in the water.
- The fine particles that cause haze and photochemical smog, reducing our visibility which can cause accidents, irritants to our skins and lungs.
- Acid rains and ocean acidification.
Who should be responsible?
If we, as individuals don’t take action, and leave the responsibilities to those in the governments or NGOs to do their part to govern those manufacturers from further harming the environment, but we still support them by buying and using their products, this vicious cycle will not stop.
If we don't learn to live sustainably, our mother nature will be:-
- contaminated with more landfills.
- losing more animals as they are going to be extinct due to deforestation and pollution.
- having more natural disasters from overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels, and deforestation - soil erosion, poor air quality, undrinkable water, stronger winds, mud-floods, floods, hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires .
- slowly dying from being contaminated and its natural resources are being overly extracted.
These have a great impact on our well-being in terms of:-
- Our health is affected due to the harmful chemicals, air pollution, dust pollution, water pollution, etc.
- Decline in the quality of life due to climate change, haze, natural disasters, etc.
- Quality of our food & water supply decreased due to contamination or pollution.
- Quality of the air we breathe, etc.
Only by practising a sustainable economy, will it promote harmony with nature and the Earth - this is what we, at Werloved, are aiming for!
Werloved is actively sharing eco-friendly products and using eco-friendly materials in our packaging, for example:-
- recycled kraft paper
- stamps instead of stickers or printouts
- natural rope instead of tape, etc.
Werloved supports eco-friendly products that are:-
- Using natural ingredients, better yet if they are organic.
- Sourced from sustainable suppliers, like those who practise fairtrade, FSC, cruelty free, etc..
- Using recyclable and biodegradable packaging, otherwise, minimising the use of plastic.
- Not causing harm to animals and the environment - cruelty free and vegan friendly.
Werloved would love to share goods which are kind to both mother nature and our health.
We always try all the goods ourselves first, and when we are happy with the results, and verified the claims by the manufacturers, only then we are confident to share it to others.
Werloved’s objective is to create ripple effects to raise awareness about mother nature and healthy lifestyles.
To inspire others about goods which Do Not Damage our Health & Environment but instead support a Healthier Lifestyle.
At the same time, by reducing the consumption of toxic chemicals and synthetically manufactured products, we can together reduce the burden on our Earth.
Let us all do our parts, in any way that we can, because a little bit of effort can create ripple effects, if more people take action!