The A - Z to Eco: M &N
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Date: 1 August, 2012
Working our way through from A to Z of the environment, Suzanne Elvidge continues the series with a look at M and N.
'More than 95% of fulmars have plastic in their guts, and whales have been found with their stomachs entirely full of plastic.'
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M is for…
….marine litter, as a follow up from March's post on litter.
Marine litter harms wildlife – floating plastic bags looks like jellyfish and so get eaten by predators like turtles (plastic bags are the leading cause of deaths in turtles), and animals and fish can get tangled in rubbish on the sea bottom, leading to injuries, starvation or drowning.
More than 95% of fulmars have plastic in their guts, and whales have been found with their stomachs entirely full of plastic.
KIMO's Fishing for Litter programme has recruited fishing boats in Scotland and the South West of England to collect litter and return it to the quayside for disposal.
According to the Marine Conservation Society's Beachwatch Big Weekend in 2011, amongst the 247,914 pieces of litter collected, volunteers found:
- An almost life size fake donkey
- A portable toilet
- A live rocket parachute flare
- 1970s Smartie tube lids and a packet of peanuts from the 70s or 80s (plastic doesn't degrade, even after 40 years)
- Push bike
- Plastic skeleton
- Two glasses and half a bottle of Champagne
- German metal fencepost
- Roadside bollard
If you want to help, stop using plastic bags and use reusable ones instead, get involved in Beachwatch, and when you visit the beach take your litter home or put it in the bin, including any plastic bags of dog poo (preferably in biodegradable bags…)
And a very quick word on another M – mobile phones – unplug them (and anything else rechargeable) once it's charged to avoid wasting energy.
It's more eco to avoid getting upgrades unless you really need them, and recycle your phone through Christian Aid when its life really is over.
N is for….
….non-renewable resources. These resources cannot be replaced when they run out, and usually refer to non-renewable energy resources such as oil, gas and coal.
Renewable energy resources include solar, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal, hydrological or hydroelectric power (HEP), biomass, biofuels and wood.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is possible to generate at least some of your own power from renewable sources, but the most important answer is to use less energy in the first place.
Read the AB article in the series
Read the CD article in the series
Read the EF article in the series
Read the GH article in the series
Read the IJ article in the series
• Read the KL article in the series
Suzanne Elvidge is a freelance writer and the Surefish Ethical Living Editor