Slow Movement, Chemicals, Food, Zoos & Oceans

Slow Movement

After listening to the “Welcome to New Slow City Podcast”, I found three concrete challenges of the slow movement which includes:

  • Time poverty: which refers to the state of having little time for leisure activities outside of work. We do not follow up with the issues going on in our world neither do we connect to our environment and nature because we do not have time outside of work.
  • In efficient time schedule: In big cities such as New York, residents are too busy and hence, they fail to create time for the things that really matter whether it be for family or just mental unwinding. An inefficient time schedule will cause problems in the long term when we realize that we wasted our time not organizing ourselves properly.
  • Lack of space: From the information gotten on the podcast, New York is a very busy city with very small apartments. This is especially an issue because theres little or no space to plant crops, grow a garden or just connect to nature!

Some of the opportunities highlighted in the podcasted include:

Smart Filtering: Not letting every single ad come into our consciousness. In other words, do not absorb every stimuli. This suggests that we can be more assertive in our decision making.

Third Story Awareness: When travelling cities such as manhattan, have part of your perception in the third story , so you could see the trees and nature! This means that we can be connecting to our environment every single time we commute!

Cultivating Anticipation:  For example if theres a restaurant we wanted to go to, delay it for a few days, talk about it with your peers, so when everyone goes together the slow food seems to taste much more delicious. In order words, it is the joy of delayed gratification. This suggests that we can things better if we anticipate them strongly.

I decided to slow down some aspects which include the use of my cellphone and the lack of time for leisure. By slowing those down, then I would have more time to connect to the environment and be efficient in my time management.

 

Investigation of the Chemicals in my Personal Care Products

There are five major products I use for my personal care , which are:

  • Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste
  • Irish Spring Bath Soap
  • Old Spice deodorant stick
  • Alaffia Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Cream

Upon investigation, I looked into the harmful substances in the personal care products I use.

Firstly, The Colgate cavity protection toothpaste has an low overall hazard concern with moderate use restrictions, no allergies & immunotoxicity concerns, no developmental & reproductive toxicity concerns and no Cancer concerns. Secondly, The Irish Spring Bar Soap has a moderate overall hazard concern with low cancer concerns, low developmental and reproductive toxicity concerns, above moderate allergies & immunotoxicity concerns and moderate use restrictions.

Thirdly, The Old Spice Deodorant has a moderate overall hazard concern with low cancer concerns, slightly moderate developmental and reproductive toxicity concerns, slightly moderate allergies & immunotoxicity concerns and also slightly moderate use restrictions.

Finally, the Alaffia Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Cream has  slightly moderate overall hazard concerns, no cancer concerns, very low developmental and reproductive toxicity concerns, moderate Allergies & immunotoxicity concerns and a high moderate use restriction. Other high concerns include: skin, eyes or lungs irritation, and other low concerns include Data gaps, Ecotoxicology, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Occupational hazards.

My Purchase Analysis For One Week

Item/product Amount($) Good or Bad
McDonalds Take-Out 13.81 B
Television 255.55 B
Desktop Computer 180 G
Duvet 30 G
Door Sealant 25 G
Groceries 120 G
Clothing 50 G
Alcohol 15 U
Cigarettes 15 U
iPhone Charger 20 G
NoteBooks 5 G
Laundry Soap 20 G
Straws 5 B
Plastic cups 6 B
Shampoo 9 G

Good Total = $459

Bad Total = $280.36

Ugly Total = $30

There were three main criteria’s for determining whether the items I purchased were good bad or ugly. These are Environmental impacts, social impacts & health impacts. For example, the reason why I categorized McDonalds take-out food as “BAD” is because it is very unhealthy and thus, it has negative health impacts on my health. In the same breath, I categorized Groceries are “GOOD” because the groceries I buy are all organic and healthy! As it pertains to environmental impacts, I categorized straws and plastic cups as “BAD” because they have bad environmental impacts such as settling down at the bottom of the sea and affecting marine life. Lastly, as it pertains to social impacts, I categorized Cigarettes as ugly because not only do they have very bad health impacts, I might be promoting a negative habit(smoking) to someone inadvertently.

My Households E-waste

As it pertains to my households E-waste, we do not store E-waste in our home! We ensure that we give away or donate our e-waste to charities or technological companies. Also, we do sell some of our e waste on marketplaces such as E-bay. In conclusion, we ensure that we do not dump our e-waste in the trash, instead we make them available to people who need them more!

Food System And Sustainability

I definitely do think that my household can make improvements on the sustainability of the food that we consume and throw away. Firstly, we can start shopping for items/groceries that we NEED not WANT. This will prevent food from wasting and will also save us money in the long-term. Unfortunately, I do not think growing our own food is realistic at this point in time just because we do not have access to land, and we do not have the skills/techniques necessary to grow crops. Collectively, my household can improve sustainability of the food we consume and throw away by shopping for items/groceries that we NEED, reducing the amount of perishable goods that we purchase and storing food properly with the appropriate measures.

 

ZOOS

Role of Zoos in Conservation/education

Zoos play an important role in conservation and education. Some of these roles include:

Conservation for species whose survival in the wild looks in doubt, zoos often set up ‘insurance’ populations: These are captive groups of animals that could in a worst case scenario assist in reintroduction to the wild, should the original population go extinct. The Amur leopard, for example: There are perhaps 35-65 left in the wild, a species teetering right on the brink. But fortunately, there is a long running breeding program with over 200 surviving in captivity.

Tourist Attraction: In 2014, 700 million people visited zoos worldwide. That number of visits will have created some sort of connection with the natural world that might not have occurred otherwise.

Zoos raise money for conservation efforts: It’s difficult to engage people with conservation efforts taking place half a world away, believe me, I know. But by enabling people to experience wildlife first hand and using that as a vessel in which to tell a story, we can I hope increase participation in international conservation efforts.

Public Education: Zoos educate millions of visitors each year about endangered species and related conservation issues. Over the past ten years, AZA-accredited institutions have also trained more than 400,000 teachers with award-winning science curricula. A nationwide study including more than 5,500 visitors from 12 AZA-accredited institutions found that visits to zoos and aquariums prompt individuals to reconsider their role in environmental problems and see themselves as part of the solution.

Zoos remind us that we can succeed: Conservation is full of bad news stories, yet on many occasions I have stood peering through glass at a species that shouldn’t exist. At WWT Barnes on the outskirts of London I have stood on a wet Winter day watching Nene, which was once the world’s rarest goose (now, incidentally, successfully reintroduced). In Antsohihy, Madagascar I have peered through the mesh fence at the world’s only population of Malagasy pochard, a duck thought to be extinct for years and then rediscovered. In the UK I’ve stood while a Bali Myna flew over my head, a bird numbering less than 100 in the wild (but thankfully more than 1000 in captivity). For me at least, zoos remind us that conservation does work, we just need more of it.

Is it ethical to keep animals in zoos ?

Personally, I think keeping animals in zoos is a good thing because they are well taken care of and protected from predators and the danger of extinction. If animals were in the wild they would be at a higher risk of extinction. The most important thing for me is that the zoos are well taken care of and cared for, and the zoos replicate their natural habitat as well as they can. So, a very large animal should not be kept in a zoo if the animal cannot exhibit its natural behaviour such as roaming around a large space. Personally, I think smaller animals such as monkeys should be kept in zoos because it is easier to take care of them and they can interact with the environment better even with little space. Larger animals should not be stored in zoos because they have minimal freedom and their natural habitat is much more difficult to replicate. Also, a lot of funds go into caring for these animals.

Attached Is A Video That Explains Why We Need Zoos

Video Source: TedxTalks. Guest speaker: Gabriela Mastromonaco. Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGBzwnTW-O4&frags=pl%2Cwn

Visiting Zoos

I do enjoy visiting the zoos occasionally around summer time as it helps me gain a deep connection to nature and just admire the beauty and uniqueness of nature. Also, I get to see and discover more species of animals which is very fun for me and informative.

 

Food

What I like about my food system is that every food item I consume is organic. Also, I do not consume canned or packaged foods. My food system is especially good because I help to support local farmers by buying fruits and vegetables directly from them and not from the grocery store. Also, the food does not have negative impacts on my health and the environment, Everything that I buy and consume was produced using sustainable measures & my food system generates little food waste. Examples of the food items I purchase regularly include:

  • Organic vegetables
  • Natural chicken with no hormones or nutrients
  • Organic cheese
  • Grass-fed milk
  • Beans
  • Organic Fruits

organicproduce-e1428702141300

Image Source: Lee-Anne Armitage Acupuncture. Available from https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2018/05/22/organic-foods-have-less-pesticide-residue-than-conventional-produce-but-does-it-matter/

Honestly, there are not a lot of things I dislike about my food system. However some of the few things I dislike include: the cost of organic food(they are more expensive for me), high wastage because organic fruits and vegetables do not have a long shelf life and lastly, organic foods are not always readily available in the market.

Oceans

My Major concerns about the oceans is the threat to marine life due to human activities/actions. Specifically, the plastic pollution of the oceans.

  • Plastic wraps our food, our houses, and our technology. It is a remarkable substance that has contributed to advances in healthcare and helped raise millions pf people out of poverty. But, disposable consumer goods end up – often after a single, fleeting use – in land-fills, littering our landscapes, and polluting our Ocean. 80% of marine plastic pollution originates from land-based sources.
  • Global plastics consumption is predicted to grow dramatically, to reach 400 million tonnes a year by 2025.
  • If the rate at which plastic debris enters the Ocean goes unchecked, it is possible that the Ocean could contain 1 kg of plastic for every 3 kg of fish by 2025, and more plastic than fish by 2050.
  • Microplastics coming from synthetic fabrics washed in washing machines is the most common form of microplastic in the Ocean.

The consequences of plastic pollution in the ocean are:

  • Plastic material does not biodegrade: Over time, plastic material does not bio-degrade, but breaks down into tiny particles known as micro plastics, which can be eaten by small marine animals and enter the food chain. Tiny particles of plastic even build up in fish brains, altering their behaviour.
  • Plastic waste contains toxic chemicals: Plastic debris often contains chemicals added during manufacture that can absorb and concentrate contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (e.g. polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs).
  • Pollution is very difficult to deal with: Plastic pollution is extremely difficult to remove from the environment or trace back to its source.
  • Health impacts on humans: A growing body of scientific research and evidence suggests that these harmful substances can transfer into the tissue of aquatic species – such as fish – that are consumed by humans.

What needs to happen moving forward ?

  • More efforts are needed by governments to take leadership on environmental policy to cooperate and tackle this global scourge. Action is needed now, not ten years from now.
  • We must transition away from a linear (make, use, dispose) economy towards a circular economy where resources, such as plastics, are used, recovered and reused over and over again, instead of heading directly to the landfill or the Ocean.
  • We all also need to take personal responsibility and significantly limit our use of plastic. For example, we can carry a reusable water bottle or coffee cup, bring our own cloth bag or other reusable bag when shopping, buy second-hand products, dramatically cut down our consumption of single-use plastic such as food contained in plastic packaging or plastic straws in our take-away drinks, and make sure we recycle whenever possible.
  • All Governments should incorporate education about plastics, waste management and recycling into their school curriculums. This is a helpful strategy and public education efforts should be amplified. But they also need to go further, faster to incentivize businesses to change and to also adopt procurement policies that reduce their plastic footprint.

Attached is a video on a whale that died due to ocean pollution

Video source: LavenderLushLuxury. Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF6GfqG-IQE&frags=pl%2Cwn

What do I plan to do about it ?

Change starts from within! Firstly, I will drastically reduce the amount of plastics I use and encourage people to use less plastics. Secondly, I will sign multiple petitions advocating the ban of single-use straws. Thirdly, I will campaign against the dumping of plastic material in our landfill by contacting GFL Environmental and the Winnipeg Water and Waste Department advising them the dangers of dumping plastic material in our landfills.

 

References

Our Team. MARINE PLASTIC POLLUTION – Ocean Unite. Ocean Unite https://www.oceanunite.org/issues/marine-plastic-pollution/

VATSALA SINGHANIA. 10 Pros And Cons Of Eating Organic Foods. STYLECRAZE. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/pros-and-cons-of-eating-organic-foods/#gref

Definition of time poverty | New Word Suggestion | Collins Dictionary. Collinsdictionary.com https://www.collinsdictionary.com/submission/17594/time+poverty

8 Reasons that Zoos are Critically Important for Conservation – Dr. James Borrell. Dr. James Borrell. http://www.jamesborrell.com/8-reasons-that-zoos-are-critically-important-for-conservation/

The Role of Zoos in Endangered Species Conservation. ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/zoos-and-endangered-species-conservation-1182068

Video References( 1.)OCEAN POLLUTION: This Whale Had A Message From The Deep. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF6GfqG-IQE&frags=pl%2Cwn

Video References 2.) (Why We Need Zoos | Gabriela Mastromonaco | TEDxToronto. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGBzwnTW-O4&frags=pl%2Cwn

 

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