My thoughts and environmental concerns:
I always have been deeply drawn to all bodies of water. When I was a child, we spent a lot of time around lakes or by the seaside. My mother would always have a hard time convincing me to come out of the water, and when I would come out my lips would be blue and my skin wrinkly like a raisin. I could spend hours playing around with the surface film of the water, or just look at it from beneath the surface with swimming goggles. As an adult, I am just as drawn to water as I was as a child (albeit with more respect for the force of the element and an awareness of hypothermia).
I am a social scientist by training and one of my main interests is public goods provision. I believe (and would be delighted to be proven wrong) that providing reliable public access to clean water will continue to be one of our greatest public policy challenges.
Recent research suggests our patterns of large-scale industrial production and consumption are exacerbating the pollution of our resources across the full spectrum of the hydrological system. Given that we do not fully understand how different parts of the hydrological cycle are connected, it will take time to develop adequate public policy responses.
In the meantime, I would like to make my individual-level contribution to relieve some of the strain on the public water supply in my area.
What I want to achieve:
I want to use the opportunity of having the globe to make a lifestyle change at the individual-level that decreases my personal impact on publicly managed freshwater resources. In particular, I want to decrease the toxicity of the wastewater coming from my household.
What I did:
I have been looking into replacing my laundry detergent for a while, but I admit that I was always a bit complacent when it came down to taking action. I used the opportunity to be the carrier for “Voices of the Future”, to finally take this step.
I am using the following basic composition for every-day liquid laundry detergent (I included the chemical formulae – it should be easier to translate them into other languages that way):
For white laundry, I use a different formula that adds Sodium Percarbonate, which is often used as an oxidising agent, in non-chlorine bleaches and other cleaning products to make them more environmentally friendly.
The instructions to compose these products are easy to find. Please note that there is plenty of information out there. If you would like to do this at home, please do some internet research and compare notes. It seems as if there is a basic set of instructions, however, there is some variation across regions in product suppliers and it is likely that some trial and error will be involved.
What I am saying is – please take the above information as what I did, based on what I found to be useful information at the time, using products available in France.
My final thoughts:
We are composed of 75-78% water (give or take). Just take a moment to consider it.
It seems like such a banal thing to say, but it always impresses me when I really think about it. I hope I am not alone in this.
I would like to thank the sponsors of the globe for starting this project – it encouraged me to take a step I wanted to take for a while but never got around to. I also would like to thank the previous carrier of the globe for giving me the opportunity to reflect on what I can contribute to the “voices of the future”. It made a difference to me and I hope I can, in turn, make a difference to my environment.