Water pollution is a serious issue that affects us all and can take shape in various forms. Have you ever heard that saying, “all roads lead back to Rome?” The same applies for water -all water leads back to the ocean. Whenever it rains, the water fills each crevice in the earth’s surface. As the water seeps into the crevices, it picks up contaminates on the ground such as waste from landfills or pesticides. The water, or groundwater, then makes its way to lakes, streams, and the ocean. Meanwhile, waste is also ending up in our oceans which is causing an issue with microplastic.
One of the biggest contributors to water pollution is textile mills. In fact, it is estimated that textile mills create up to one-fifth of the world’s water pollution due to the many chemicals used to make fabrics. Many of the world’s textile mills are located in third world countries where regulations are lacking and governments cannot keep up with the pollution.
While water pollution has obvious consequences on our water supply, it also has grave consequences on health. Swimming in polluted water can cause respiratory issues or skin infections, and consumption can cause chronic disease or illness. Moreover, there are secondary consequences on the environment such as an impact on the marine ecosystem which subsequently is causing many species to become extinct.
We don’t want to provide you with this information to scare you but rather to provide more information. Water is a precious resource that we must preserve and protect to ensure the longevity of our planet.
At Truhugs’, we are committed to water preservation and are practicing what we preach through implementations in our textile factories, but our water preservation efforts begin before the fabric even makes it to the factories. It starts at the source. We have chosen crops that require far less water to grow than standard cotton: hemp, linen, and bamboo lyocell. We also eliminated the finishing dying process, to reduce the amount of chemicals needed to produce Truhugs’ weighted blankets.
What Can You Do to Help Reduce Water Pollution
While we are taking part in the reduction of water pollution, we ask that our readers do the same. Below we’ve highlighted some simple steps anyone can take to help in water preservation efforts.
1. Properly Dispose of Chemicals
Many substances that you carry around your house may seem harmless, but when mass quantities of bleach, pesticides, or any other household chemicals make their way into our water system, problems arise. To solve this issue, opt for non-toxic cleaners or take your used chemicals to an area for safe disposal. Many communities have collection centers or drop-off sites to take in used substances.
2. Safely Dispose of Old Medications
For many years it was believed that flushing old medications down the toilet was the best form of disposal. Now we know that the accumulation of drugs in our water system are contributing to contaminated drinking water and health problems in our aquatic animals and birds. To properly dispose of old medications and to help prevent water pollution, drop old medications off at either a local CVS pharmacy or check with your local DEA.
3. Conserve Water
This one may seem obvious, but it is always worth noting! Be mindful of your overall water consumption and think of ways that you can reduce it. Consider turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth or while scrubbing those dishes. Run the washer and dishwasher when they are at full capacity. Also, check your pipes and toilet for leaks, as these can create a lot of unnecessary water waste.
4. Limit of Quit Smoking
You may be surprised to learn that cigarettes are a big contributor to water pollution. Experts estimate that up to five trillion cigarette butts end up in our water systems. Cigarette butts have tons of chemicals and are the top water pollution source in the Great Lakes. If you ever needed motivation to quit, this may be it!
5. Choose your Sunscreen Wisely
As I was preparing for this article, I was surprised to learn about the impact of sunscreen on our water quality. Most sunscreens contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide which are not biodegradable and will remain in the water. Experts estimate that four to six thousand metric tons of sunscreen contaminate our water each year. The chemicals can cause consequences for coral, so try to find eco-friendly sunscreen alternatives.
6. Use Water Wisely
Although seemingly everlasting, water is a limited resource that we must preserve. Water is necessary for human survival, yet only 3% of the earth’s water is safe to drink. It is our duty to take steps to use water wisely so that we can preserve and conserve.
We are constantly seeking out ways to reduce our carbon footprint and improve in our sustainability efforts. We’d love to hear about ways that you help reduce water pollution! Head over to our facebook page or instagram and let us know about your conservation efforts!