3. Feb 2019
by manu

Environmental Racism

Unilever is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of consumer goods (food, cosmetics, personal care products, household products,…).
The population of Kodaikanal accuses the large corporation of environmental racism.

Background

From 1984 to 2001 mercury thermometers were produced in a Unilever factory in the southern Indian city of Kodaikanal.
Due to improper disposal, toxic mercury waste leaked into the ground of the factory premises and the surrounding area and led to the closure of the factory in 2001 by the goverment. The mercury contaminated the local environment.
The health of workers and their later-born children was severely affected due to inadequate health and safety measures in the processing of mercury. Some factory workers died prematurely. Some of their children also died.

It took Unilever 15 years to reach an agreement with the factory workers and compensate them. And this only because of a protest video that went viral and generated enough social pressure:
→ “Unilever, Clean Up Your Mess!” (ReThink-Article)

But there is still mercury in the soil today!

The clean-up so far seems insufficient.
The people of Kodaikanal are now accusing Unilever of environmental racism, because in Europe such an incident would have been taken more seriously.

I believe, this is a real problem!

According to Wikipedia, Unilever even attracted attention with racist advertising in 2011 and 2017. Both commercials focused on how a coloured woman changed into a white woman after using a Dove product.

→ More Info about the “Kodaikanal Won’t” movement (kodaimercury.org)
→ To the petition (jhatkaa.org)

ReThink, people!
Boycott Unilever and every other major corporation (greetings to Nestlé at this point…) that doesn’t give a shit about nature and people!
Buy local, organic and fair!

15. Aug 2018
by manu

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change © rethink-recycle.net

This narrative by Nathaniel Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. Complementing the text is a series of aerial photographs and videos, all shot over the past year by George Steinmetz. With support from the Pulitzer Center, this two-part article is based on 18 months of reporting and well over a hundred interviews. It tracks the efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians to raise the alarm and stave off catastrophe. It will come as a revelation to many readers — an agonizing revelation — to understand how thoroughly they grasped the problem and how close they came to solving it.
Source: nytimes.com

→ Read complete article at nytimes.com

4. Aug 2018
by manu

What our planet looks like from space

We really challenge our eco-system – and that’s visible from space…

 

USA, Las Vegas

© sueddeutsche.de
Left 1973, Right 2000; ©sueddeutsche.de
From 1950 to 2005 the number of inhibitants of Las Vegas has increased from 25.000 to over 1 million. Also the ground water level has decreased more than 1.5m because of the need for water to keep gulf courses etc (in a desert) green…

 

Spain, Almeria

© sueddeutsche.de
Left 1974, Right 2004; ©sueddeutsche.de
Green houses and plantations have taken the place of what was mostly nature. A lot of water is needed to grow food for the European Union..

 

→ sueddeutsche.de

First published: October 28th, 2016
23. May 2018
by manu

Plastic everywhere!

Plastic everywhere! © SAGE SZKABARNICKI-STUART

Microplastics have been found everywhere in the ocean that people have looked, from sediments on the deepest seafloor to ice floating in the Arctic—which, as it melts over the next decade, could release more than a trillion bits of plastic into the water, according to one estimate. On some beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii, as much as 15 percent of the sand is actually grains of microplastic.
Source: nationalgeographic.com
→ “We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it.”
 

More than 40 percent of plastic is used just once, then tossed.
Source: nationalgeographic.com
→ “10 shocking facts about plastic”

13. Apr 2018
by manu

What’s chewing gum made of?

Woraus besteht eigentlich Kaugummi? © welt.de

Ever wondered what you are chewing on?
Right: petrol-based plastic, which will need hundreds of years to degrade.

Gum is made from plastic. […] After World War II, chemists learned to make synthetic rubber, which came to replace most natural rubber in chewing gum (e.g., polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate). […]
Where does (plastic) chewing gum go after it’s ABC (already been chewed)? Is it flushed down toilets? Washed down storm drains? Hmm… just one more source of non-biodegradable plastic in our oceans?

Source: myplasticfreelife.com

In the image above you can see the “Gum Wall” in Seattle. Over a time period of 20 years people stuck over one billion chewing gums on it. (I’m sorry, but I can’t see how that’s cool in any way… it’s just gross!)
In 2015 the city of Seattle has begun to clean the wall, but chewing gums keep showing up:
→ “Seattles zäher Kampf gegen die Kaugummi-Wand” (welt.de in German)

 

Maybe rather chew Bio-Gum or even break the habit?

The “Chicza” chewing gums are 100% bio-degradable, vegan and gluten-free:
→ chiczausa.com