When something is biodegradable it means it’s capable of decomposing rapidly by the help of microorganisms found in nature, the earth or airborne. Photodegradable items are close relatives and they are capable of decomposing by the help of natural sunlight or even some forms of man-made light. It’s man-made products made of plastic and Styrofoam that harm our environment and take up valuable space and litter natural habitats for animals and humans alike. Biodegradable items include food, cotton, wool, wood, human and animal waste, and products manufactured with natural materials such as natural paper, fibers, and oils. Natural materials such as paper and orange peels take only months for mother nature to dissolve. The harmful man-made products that set us back such as leather shoes and tin cans can take up to 50 years or longer. Glass takes 1 million years to dissolve and plastic, our most often used material, will never truly dissolve by mother nature.
What Can We Do?
By voting for sustainability with our money by purchasing items that are biodegradable or re-usable we cancel out only some of the damage being caused on a regular basis. Luckily, businesses and people are catching onto the concept of restoring and protecting our resources, if not for our planet and future generations, for the popularity of our business and for stroking our egos. If you can’t purchase an item that is biodegradable or photodegradable, you can at least make an effort to recycle or reuse the items you do purchase. Thrift and recycled fashions, up-cycled home furniture and decor, and having a personal purpose or mission are all popular concepts on the rise. Be a star, and care for the environment, your home.
Your Sustainability Checklist
Purchase products with biodegradable packaging, second hand fashion and home decor, and the greenest products whenever possible
Learn how to organize your recycling for at home pick-up or find out where your nearest recycling facility is and what they recycle for future reference
Educate your children on the lifestyle changes you’re making to provide them a better earth for them and their children in the future