People are not the best way to influence the planet. Various types of plants and animals disappear thousands of times faster than they should.
Over 20,000 species today are teetering on the brink of total extinction, and scientists are trying to figure out how we can save them.
Most of them are produced in China – more than 80 billion a year! The vast majority of these sticks are used and thrown in the territory of the Middle Kingdom.
Such a huge amount would be enough to cover Beijing’s Tiananmen Square with an impenetrable layer 360 times!
Unfortunately, for the manufacture of 80 billion sticks, the Chinese annually cut down 20 million trees, and not all in a row. Only trees older than 20 years are suitable.
Amazingly, the third largest country in the world in the near future may be left without any scaffolding due to some chopsticks out there!
2. Taking birth control pills and other hormonal drugs
Sewage strongly influences freshwater ecosystems: even the residual amount of estrogen released into the environment can destroy dozens of species. For reference: estrogen is an active ingredient in birth control pills, also used in hormone therapy.
In 2001, small quantities of estrogen were introduced into a freshwater lake at a research center in the city of Ontario (Canada). The effect appeared almost instantly.
Male fish began to produce egg whites, and then produce eggs. Even a minimal amount of estrogen was enough to transform them into females.
Scientists from the University of York fed earthworms, who drank wastewater containing 3–5% antidepressants, starlings, and then observed for six months.
Birds began to show the same side effects of antidepressants as people. They have become much less to eat, have lost interest in individuals of the opposite sex.
And this is a double blow: the lack of food makes the birds weaker, and there is a high probability that they will not be able to survive the winter, and the weakening of the libido reduces the number of nesting birds. Is it not for this reason that the number of starlings in the United States has decreased by 50 million in the last 30 years?
4. Use disposable drinking straws
According to the conservation organization Ocean Conservancy, straws are among the 10 most common types of garbage in the world’s oceans.
Staying on the surface of the water, the straws are carried by the wind and currents for great distances. They are made of polypropylene plastic – non-degradable and insoluble material. So billions of discarded straws remain forever in the world’s oceans.
It is assumed that marine life every year swallow from 10 to 25 tons of plastic. Every year over a million birds die of plastic.
Frog meat has long become popular outside of France. Most of the frogs in the world are imported by Japan and the USA – over 5 million individuals per year.
Experts say that many frogs shipped from South America are infected with a chytrid fungus. Fortunately, it is harmless to people. The fungus that spreads through living foods not only spreads, but also hybridizes to other species.
Currently, more than 10 strains of chyridor fungus are known.
Scientists from the University of Michigan were able to trace their interaction and the emergence of new, increasingly deadly species and claim that resistance of the fungus threatens to infect the entire planet.
In 2013, a study was conducted, during which experts tried to find out what happens to all sorts of antibacterial substances after they fall into the sewer system.
Most often in modern household chemicals used triclocarban and triclosan. Most of these substances are removed from the effluent by sewage treatment plants, but something still remains.
The CDC found traces of chemicals used in the production of antibacterial soap in 76% percent of American urine samples over five years old.
Other studies have shown that triclosan is present in the organisms of many animals — rats, amphibians, etc. It has a strong influence on the functioning of the thyroid gland. When young triclosan is stored in the body provokes accelerated puberty, leading to infertility, obesity and cancer.
More than 75% of cat litter from different manufacturers are made of so-called bentonite clay – a substance with excellent absorbent properties, which swells 12-14 times larger in size.
Bentonite clay is mined in open pits. And this is bad for the environment and for humans.
Clay mining is increasingly destroying the soil surface.
There are dozens of alternative cat litter fillers derived from recycled trash, paper, plant materials and other substances. Unfortunately, the process of obtaining them is more costly …
Breeding shrimp leads to severe degradation of coastal areas, the disappearance of wetlands, increased salinity of land and water.
When breeding salmon in water, the concentration of fish droppings increases significantly. Under natural conditions, this problem is irrelevant, but when a lot of fish is grown in a small enclosed area, the ecosystem of the reservoir suffers a lot.
Waste sinks to the bottom, where it reacts with drugs and reagents used to clean fishing nets. This environment is favorable for breeding sea lice.
To destroy them, it is necessary, in turn, to use other chemicals. As a result, aquatic animals living in the surrounding areas, massively dying out.
Recent studies have shown that growing soy has a devastating effect on nature. Soybeans have long been used to create milk substitutes, sausages and many other products.
In addition, they are used in the manufacture of soap and candles.
But not only people eat soy. Over 80% of the crop of this plant goes to feeding livestock.
It is clear that the demand is huge, so for its cultivation you need more and more free space. Do not forget that the territories used for this purpose are cut down and then fertilized with pesticides that cause great damage to natural ecosystems.
28% of agricultural land grows products that are destined to be discarded. Needless to say, how many species of animals and plants that have lost their habitat in the course of man clearing these territories today are on the verge of extinction?
In addition, due to food waste, 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases annually get into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Most of the waste is generated when processing products, but the percentage of household waste is also very high. For example, people often throw away uncorrupted fruits and vegetables simply because they are dented or have an ugly look.
Also, products with an unfinished shelf life often end up in the garbage when their owners buy fresher ones.
It is not easy to realize that even by simply using antibacterial soap or buying fruit juices, we cause great harm to the environment. The above facts once again prove how fragile the ecosystem in which we live.
And even innocent, at first glance, the actions of people can cause the extinction of thousands of species of living organisms.