One of the biggest threats to the environment and our health is water pollution. As we all know, water is absolutely essential for life. However, today much of the limited freshwater people have access to is polluted. And in some places, it is utterly polluted. Our oceans are equally polluted, too. In fact, by many estimates, the oceans will have more plastic than fish in them by 2050.

But, even though we are the ones causing the pollution, many are also attempting to combat it. And you can be a part of the clean water movement! You don’t have to sit on the sidelines and bemoan the fact that pollution is happening.
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For some, it will mean pushing up their sleeves and physically removing the garbage that washes up on our lake and ocean shores. For others, it will be going to school to learn how to best care for our water. And for still others, they will use their pocketbooks to support businesses that are kind to the environment.

Thanks to Triple Pundit for the following list:

1. Cleanup Initiatives: Thanks to volunteers picking up trash by hand and engineers (or surfer dudes)  inventing high-tech machines that patrol the ocean for litter, people are working to remove some of the pollutants that already exist in our waterways.

“The first such machine is expected to deploy soon to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an aggregation of approximately 1.8 trillion bits of plastic. Within five years, it’s believed, the machine will be able to clean up half of the patch. The device comes from Ocean Cleanup, a technology company created by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat when he was just 18 years old. Check out the video below for an explanation.”1

Consumer product companies have also stepped up to do their part, like the guys who created an edible six-pack ring for their beer or the Adidas company, or even artists using garbage found in the ocean to create new pieces of art.

2. Improving Trash Management: Every year, the world produces unbelievable amounts of plastics and much of it ends up littering the natural environment (it’s been estimated that 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year). But other types of trash pollute our water and environment, as well. While one way to stop this is by adopting better waste management plans, the first step is to reduce the amount of single-use plastic items we use.

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3. Reducing Nutrient Runoff: “Abnormally high levels of nutrients in waterways, caused by runoff from fertilizers, are another significant water pollution problem. These nutrients are a natural part of water ecosystems, but in overly high concentrations, they cause excessive algae growth. These algae blooms reduce the amount of oxygen in the water, killing fish. This nutrient runoff comes from farms, as well as fertilizer used for lawns and gardens, which wash into waterways with rain.” 2

Something we are all too familiar with in 2018.

4. Cleaning up Wastewater: Every day, industrial facilities, sewage plants, and mining operations discharge their dirty and often chemical-laden wastewater into rivers and lakes. In developed nations, this wastewater discharge is regulated and thereby reduced its environmental impact. However, in many places in the world, companies don’t treat their wastewater before releasing it; it’s estimated that 80 percent of wastewater gets discharged without any treatment.3

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In the US, the Clean Water Act is supposed to regulate this discharge and for the most part, it does. 

Many universities, government agencies, and companies are working to “further our understanding of the current state of water pollution, its impact, and how we can prevent and mitigate it.”4 Yes, water pollution is a huge problem, but it’s only too late if we do nothing and make no progress. And progress takes desire, which starts with education.

Go and change the world you Health Nuts! XO- Erin

Sources and References

  1. Triple Pundit, August 6, 2018.
  2. Triple Pundit, August 6, 2018.
  3. Triple Pundit, August 6, 2018.
  4. Triple Pundit, August 6, 2018.