Friday, March 14, 2014

Cotton, Clothing, and Its Impact on the Environment

It's not often one really stops to think about the sources of their clothing. Is it fair trade? Organic? Are the detergents used to clean environmentally safe? Are they safe to even put on your skin? Most of these questions don't often make their way into your consciousness, however they should and here is why:

Cotton makes up over $25 billion-per-year in revenue for the United States, is one of the most popular fibers for making clothing, and is the most pesticide-intensive crop in the world according to http://www.panna.org/resources/cotton.

The EPA (environmental Protection Agency) considers the top 15 pesticides used in cotton farming to be either known or possible human carcinogens. Not only do they affect humans, but of course animals. In 1995 pesticides were sprayed on an Alabama cotton farm before a heavy rain washed them into a nearby river killing over 240,000 fish of varying species.

http://ipm.ncsu.edu/cotton/insectcorner/photos/images/34ft_plot_sprayer.jpg

Not only are these pesticides killing animal species and harming humans, creating insecticides for cotton is a very tricky science, and getting the chemicals just right takes time and practice, which can be devastating for crops, killing revenue and putting lives in danger.

What can we do about this?

Buying organic and boycotting pesticide-covered cotton will drastically help the environment by reducing water runoff, help eliminate unnecessary elimination of good insects such as bees, and reduce health risks for employees.

By knowing what you buy, and who you're buying it from you can drastically help this multi-billion dollar industry clean up the environment and help millions of employees health working conditions. 

1 comment:

  1. 1. Organic growers are allowed to use pesticides. 2. Your statistics are pretty old.

    ReplyDelete