Environmental Protection is one of the main challenges of our planet. Global pollution is reaching tragic levels. Unfortunately, pollution is disseminated everywhere: air, land, water and even under the ground. We have started to feel its consequences: global warming, extinction of species, modification of other ones, weather extremes, development of dangerous diseases, and many other ‘bad’ factors impacting our lives.
I. The Solution about Laundry Habits
Many people are trying to work out environmental issues and are coming up with different solutions. I was impressed by two of them that are closely related to people’s daily life. The first solution has a famous fashion designer as her public advocate (and not only her). I’m talking about Stella McCartney, the daughter of Paul McCartney (ex-member of “The Beatles”). Stella thinks that people are over-washing their clothes. She was referring to the habit of people in some parts of the world to wash their clothes very often (dressed only once, only for a small stain, etc.) Mrs. McCartney believes that clothes should be washed only when is necessary to do so. In other words, people should wash their clothes only when they stink or seem very dirty.
II. The Solution about Daily Showers
The second solution comes from Harvard Medical School. They did study the medical value of daily showers. Most people in US and some other developed countries do shower on daily basis. The scientist came to the conclusion that there are no health benefits to have daily showers, neither for hair nor for skin.
Pros’ regarding the Two Solutions
There are several arguments that stand behind both solutions proposed and go in favor of environment protection:
The Cost Argument
Washing clothes with washing machines cost us lots of money for: water, electricity, detergents for washing the clothes and detergents for maintaining the washing- machine. The same applies for daily showers: shampoos, balm, body shower gel, body lotion and the cost of washing the bath towels. Clothes washed often, get ruined faster and that will cause us to need to spend more money for buying new clothes.
The Plastic Pollution Argument
When we use washing-machine, we support spreading of 9 million tiny plastic fibers on the air. In this way we contribute to one of the worst environment pollutants to be spread in the place we live. Using liquid detergent to wash clothes in washing-machines help to reduce a lot the amount of plastic fiber spreading around.
The Health Argument
Washing your hair and body everyday, destroys the organic fauna present in both of them. This is very damaging for hair and skin as it makes them less healthy and more vulnerable in front of external factors. The healthy habit is to wash your hair and skin only when they are dirty. The frequency of weekly showers depends on the type of hair and skin your have (oily hair get dirty pretty fast and require often washing). The same logic applies to the pediatricians’ advice not to shower babies on daily basis, babies’ skin requires its natural conditions (fauna, micro-bacteria, dirtiness) to allow the body to develop the necessary protection and immunity against various inflammations and allergic reactions.
The Marketing Argument
The researchers that studied the daily shower procedure, believe that this habit is embedded in people’s minds mainly from marketing campaigns of cosmetic companies that produce human washing products. They argue that in most types of hair, there is no need to wash your hair more than once. While almost all shampoos and other products just push for it. Only oily hair might require more deeper washing due to the difficulty to remove grease and the dirtiness it collects. While there is not medical value in their tenacity to wash more and often, there is a huge business value, as people buy more shampoo and help their business to bloom.
The Water Preservation Argument
When you shower and wash your clothes, you engage big amounts of water and this could be a real problems for some parts of the world. Reducing your ‘extra-hygiene zeal’ will help reduce water supply problems. At the same time, you may reduce the shower time by saving water too.
Some years ago I was a guest of a hotel in Budapest, Hungary. I found a note in the toilet from the hotel’s staff asking their guest not to through their towels for washing everyday. The reason for that was to protect the environment from the chemicals that were used during laundry. Te be sincere, I thought they were just trying to cut the cost of daily laundry. However, I respected their request and did not through my towels for washing everyday.
What I want to say my dear friends is that it is your individual call to think and act about these two solutions. Sometimes, small things from any of us could make the big change. Environment protection, more than an immediate actions for today, is a long term investment for well-being of future generations.
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