While watching the Overpopulated documentary, I found it very interesting how overpopulation can lead to so many problems. You do not really think that there is so many overpopulated areas around the world until it is actually brought to our attention. However, it is a major issue all around the world today. With the world and our environment being in this position, there becomes less and less resources available. That being, natural resources. The more, people that there are, the more resources that will become used. The earth cannot naturally produce but so many resources on its own. One way in the documentary to show ways to prevent overpopulation was a woman in Bangladesh who went around door to door educating woman on the importance of the environment and giving them resources to access ways of things such as birth control methods. Women conceiving at such a young age and continuing to do so has become a big issue in today’s society and for the environment. Not only is it affecting our government but it is affecting our environment as well. When people are living with larger families and little income, they begin get aid from the government. When the government runs out of money that makes it harder for it to aid to things such as bettering the environment. Therefore, people themselves have to take money out of their own pockets to create groups and organizations to help and educate communities about the importance of the overuse of resources from overpopulation. This makes it harder for people to do because to get a legit organization started, it takes money, people, and educational factors to get it started. This documentary helped me think about the environment a lot differently and encourages me to make changes within my own life to be more sustainable.
I am far from an expert on environmental issues, and if I am being honest, before this class I didn’t really know much about what issues our Earth is actually facing. After watching the documentary about overpopulation, it made me want to do some research on my own and find out more about what is going on. After doing some research online, one problem that I saw our environment is losing is biodiversity. This basically means that because of actions that are being performed by humans, species are going extinct. This is happening mainly because of pollution and also because we are taking some of their important resources. This really stuck out to me because I am always hearing about how different species are going extinct all over the world but I never really sit down and think about why they are actually going extinct. I’ve never thought that environmental problems that are being caused by humans had that big of an impact on different species.
Another environmental hazard that we as humans are causing is tobacco waste. According to the World’s Health Organization, “the manufacturing of tobacco products also produces an immense amount of waste. In 1995, the global tobacco industry produced an estimated 2.3 billion kilograms of manufacturing waste and 209 million kilograms of chemical waste.” I have always been taught that smoking is bad, but never for the environmental reasons. When I have been told before not to smoke, the reason behind it is because it is bad for my health, not bad for the environment. After reading about tobacco waste and how bad it is for our environmental environment, it made me really think about other things we do that are hazardous to our environment without even thinking about it.
I’m not quite sure if this applies, but I was recently inspired to start making my own laundry detergent. It all started when I was taking an old newspaper to the recycling bin. I happened to see a story on the one of the pages about a mother who had replaced commercial laundry detergent with homemade. I ended reading the whole thing, and learning about how homemade laundry detergent is generally a cheap alternative to the commercial stuff, and it is also less taxing on the environment. I learned that normal laundry detergent is filled all kinds of harsh petrochemicals, carcinogens, and brighteners that can cling to clothes can cause all kinds of skin irritations. A bit more research revealed that Tide alone has over twenty-five separate ingredients including “fragrance,” which could be made of an assortment of harsh chemical compounds.
So, it was basically decided for me at that point. I remembered that I had some friends who had taken a workshop on making laundry detergent and asked for their help in my project. We started by collecting the necessary ingredients. First, we needed washing soda which is slightly different from baking soda. Next, we required borax. I should mention that if you are hesitant about using borax it is acceptable to just double up on the washing soda. Finally, we just needed a bar of natural soap. We started the process by grating the bar of soap into flakes. This actually took a little effort. Lastly, we mixed 250ml of borax and washing soda with our new soap flakes until perfectly combined. You just need to one or two tablespoons of the stuff per load of laundry. So far, it works decently well, and if you want to add your own fragrances, you can do so adding certain oils to your recipes. There are a lot of recipes out there if you want a more detailed process.
Honestly, watching this documentary I was not 100% sure what it was going to be about. I thought this documentary was going to just scare people out of eating meat and that it would show a behind the scenes look at processing meat farms. I was shocked to see that this video took me in a whole different direction. This documentary talked about many different categories related to sustainability. I was dumbfounded to see the crazy amounts of water needed to keep the cows hydrated because the grains that are fed to the cows causes the cows to be very thirsty, thus greatly lowering our overall water supply. Second, it was interesting to see how much waste the cows produced compared to us as humans. Next, another big issue was the amount of precious land that is cleared out to harvest these animals. In the documentary they looked at Brazil as an example and stated that 80% of their rain forests were cleared out for land for cows. A lady whom was being interviewed in the documentary admitted that she believes that cows don’t leave a carbon footprint. That is crazy to think people can’t admit the effects this has on our lives, and future generations to come. If we don’t start now, we will never be able to have the resources we need to survive in the future.
Another major issue that was discussed in this video is the increase in overpopulation. This was a topic that was discussed in class as well. But when we look at actual numbers, people are starving in different places world wide, but most of our grains, water and resources are given to cows to be produced. If we limit the amount of milk and meat production, we would be able to sustain other natural resources such as fruits and vegetables. A plant based diet is the most sustainable and we would be able to thrive as a world off of this type of diet.
The United States is not suited to meet the demands of meat; and shouldn’t be attempted or tried. We also need to be concerned with preservation of all animals, everywhere. Animals are being killed for no reason, everywhere. Also, the treatment, health and overall well being of these animals in the farms are horrible, and very devastating to see. I am not a big red meat eater to began with but, after watching this video I want to eliminate red meat from my diet as a whole. As a country, and across the world we just keep producing cows as a major mean of food supply, but no one is able to look or admit to see the huge effects it has on limiting our sustainability across our world. More laws and policies need to be set into place to limit the amount of meat production that should be allowed. This would allow for an increase in water supply, limiting waste, helping animals, and thus sustaining land and resources.
This blog is for students of ENVT 200 at the College of Charleston to share their thoughts, ideas, and experiences as they make their way through this class.
As it is a continuation from last semester, I would like to welcome all new student authors to the blog. I can`t wait to read what you all come up with!
Requirements for grading are posted on OAKS. If anyone needs any clarification on it, or help with subject matter, please contact me. If you have any technical difficulties, the help desk (Helpdesk@cofc.edu) is extremely helpful and highly responsive. For some tips on how to use WordPress, including creating a nickname, creating a blog, adding pictures, etc., please see this helpful page written by another professor here.
Last but not least, have fun!