Friday, April 1, 2016

We can't do without it . . .

I'm delighted to have some good news to share with you.

Do you remember how concerned we were about the plastic in the oceans . . . worrying about the fast-expanding 'islands', and overwhelmed by the vast quantity of non-degradable plastic that's discarded daily?

Well, I've just read about a new type of plastic, a very different type of plastic.

This product is made from algae, and has evolved after careful research at the School of Packaging at Michigan State University.

The material can be made into a bottle that is not only biodegradable, but, if you fancy an unusual snack, can actually be eaten.  The bottle retains its shape just so long as it contains liquid, but will start to decompose the moment it's empty.

Whilst not the final solution to a worldwide problem, it's undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

But if this new development has produced answers, it has also raised questions . . . the foremost being: why do we want to manufacture so many bottles in the first place?
The answer, of course, is because they can be used to contain water . . . water, the vital substance that plays such an essential role in all our lives.

You and I take fresh water for granted, we use it unthinkingly, we leave taps and hoses running, we waste it when we should be treasuring every drop.

Did you know, I didn't, that nearly one billion people in the developing world lack access to safe drinking water?
How would we feel, I wonder, if we needed to spend over four hours a day walking in search of water?  Yet that's what many women and children are forced to undertake.
Would we, in the west, accept it as inevitable if thousands of us died each year from water-related diseases?

Take the situation in India where, it seems, nearly eighty million people lack access to safe water.  Click here to witness a disturbing situation, one that exists at the present time on the heavily polluted and often stagnant River Ganges.

Just think about it for a moment . . . without water we wouldn't be here, it's as simple as that.
Water is the basis of life . . . the essential ingredient in our physical structure.  Over fifty per cent of a human body is water.  Yet we let it run through our fingers not recognising that it is our fingers.
'Thousands have lived without love,' wrote W.H. Auden, 'not one without water.'

Just look at how, in our thoughtlessness, we behave. We inundate our oceans with plastic . . . we discharge sewerage into the waterways . . .  the chemicals we spray on our fields drain off and pollute the rivers. Even the rain, falling as it does through polluted air, becomes itself polluted.

Water is a miraculous substance. . . yet we abuse it.

But don't take my word for it.  There's someone who can explain the magic of water far better than I can.

 Have you two minutes to spare?  Then click here and listen to the American scientist, Bruce Lipton, describe just what it is that, in our blindness, we fail to value.

Deprived of water, a tree topples.  Deprived of water, a flower withers.  Deprived of water, we die.

Water is not a problem to be solved, it is part of us . . .  and we can't do without it.