You and your environment

AgricultureEnvironment and climate change


No. 1: Plastics harm the environment
Did you know that most plastic is not biodegradable? That means that it does not decompose naturally and turn into another material without polluting the environment. There are 46 different types of plastics, and technologies to recycle them are not well developed.

There have been experiments to produce something called “biodegradable plastic” which is made partly of starch. But when these plastics decompose they produce other little-known substances that could also damage the environment.

It is important to pay attention to what we do with the plastic that we use everyday. Burning plastics is not a good solution because toxic substances are released in the fire.

The most dangerous contaminants come from the production of 20 different chemical products. And the plastics industry uses 6 of these 20 chemical products. Plastic is a product of today’s civilization and we have to find a way to reduce its use and reduce its impact on the environment.

No. 2: Cleaning that contaminates
When you clean your house you may be polluting the environment. Why?

Because many cleaning products are made of chemicals that can be harmful to your health and the environment. These chemicals can get into the water supply and come back through the taps in your home.

One solution is to use less detergent and other cleaning products when cleaning. Many times a manufacturer recommends using more cleanser than is necessary. It is a mistake to think that the more a cleanser foams the better it will clean. The result will be the same. Also, look for cleansers that decompose naturally after use. They are called biodegradable cleansers. Or choose the traditional bar of soap which is made out of natural vegetable oils.

No. 3: How to earn extra money collecting garbage
Did you know that, on average, every person produces 100 kilograms of garbage a year? The good news is that 90 percent of that garbage can be re-used. You yourself can try to organize garbage recycling among your neighbors. Gather the garbage and separate it into three big containers of different kinds of garbage. Into one container put kitchen leftovers, fruit peelings, used coffee grounds and dry leaves. All of that can be converted into organic fertilizer.

In the second container put the jars, plastics, and used cans. Put all kinds of paper and cardboard into the third container. All of these materials can be recycled and used again. You and your neighbours can sell them and make some extra money.


These spots are translated from Radio WWF, December 1994, published in Spanish by WWF Brasil, SHIS EQ QL 6/8 Conjunto E, 2 andar, 71620-430, Brasilia DF, Brasil. Radio scripts in English are available from Conservation News Service, WWF International, Avenue du Mont Blanc, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland