Wear Dirty Clothes. Save the Earth.

    Source Bianca Jordan

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    Wear Dirty Clothes. Save the Earth.

    What’s Going On?

    You've seen the pictures of hordes of plastic floating oceans, but did you know that our clothing is a key source of plastic pollution? Polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers are all forms of plastic, used for their low cost and versatility. The plastic fibers from these fabrics leach into the environment when you wash your clothes and eventually end up in the ocean — one load of laundry can release hundreds of thousands of fibers into the water supply. However, exact numbers are hard to come up with due to the amount of factors involved — how garments are made, the type of washing machine used, material used, water temperature, detergent type, etc.


    Why You Should Care

    You are what you eat, right? If that's true, then we are now part microplastic. A recent study found that the "average person ingests 5800 particles of synthetic debris" annually (mostly plastic fibers). Plastics in the ocean eventually make their way back up the food chain and end up in our food supply, mainly through fish.

    What You Can Do

    1. If you can, buy clothes made solely from natural fibers (organic cotton, wool, or hemp).

    2. Buy fewer clothes.

    3. Wash your clothes only when necessary.

    Buying natural clothes may not be an option for everyone, as synthetics are significantly cheaper. As usual, a huge part of the responsibility lies on corporations — washing machines should be designed to prevent plastic fibers from leaching and textile manufacturers should design fabrics to shed less.

    What's Yellow and Going Extinct?

    What’s Going On?

    This week, environmental organizations threatened to sue the Trump Administration over failing to protect critically endangered giraffes. Back in 2017, the groups asked the Fish and Wildlife Service to put giraffes on the endangered species list but the administration failed to act within the allotted 90 days. The giraffe population has declined more than 40% in the last 30 years, with fewer than 100,000 remaining in Africa today. The US has imported over 40,000 giraffe parts over the last decade in the form of bone carvings, skins, and hunting trophies. Since giraffes are not native to the US, protecting them under the Endangered Species Act would not protect their habitat or prohibit hunting of them, but it would ban sales of giraffe products in the US as well as reduce the number of giraffes that trophy hunters can import.

    Why You Should Care

    There are now fewer giraffes than elephants in Africa. Conservation groups are calling this a "silent extinction" and are concerned that we may lose this extraordinary species forever if protections are not put in place. As a significant importer of giraffes and giraffe products, the US could make a huge impact on the fate of this species.

    Whose Health Are We Talking About?

    What's Going On?

    If the US healthcare system were a country, it would be the seventh largest polluter of carbon dioxide in the world. This week, in an initiative led by the Global Climate and Health Forum, 17,000 hospitals and clinics across two dozen countries pledged to cut carbon emissions by 16 million metric tons from their operations annually (equivalent to amounts produced by 4 coal plants). Hospitals and clinics can achieve this by shifting to renewable energy, a sustainable food supply, and zero-carbon transportation.

    Why You Should Care

    Climate change exacerbates existing health conditions and can reverse decades of health advances. Climate action will help us avoid millions of preventable deaths each year due to extreme heat, vector-borne illnesses, air pollution, a threatened food supply, and the frequency and severity of natural disasters.

    Weekly Scraps

    Check out this cool video of a triple whale breach.

    Why do we love bees but hate wasps?

    Berkeley passes city-wide Meatless Mondays.

    Oregon launches state-wide refillable beer bottles.

    Lots of pig waste from Hurricane Florence.

    Why hunting one grizzly is a huge deal.

    130,000 pounds of ground beef recalled due to E.coli.

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