Spotless Dishes v. Clean Water
A couple of news stories recently highlighted the dilemma posed by phosphorous, a chemical used to make explosives, fireworks, pesticides, toothpaste, detergents, among other things.
Like a verdant lawn? Thank phosphorous.
Want your glasses to sparkle when they emerge from the dishwasher? It’s the phosphates in the soap that makes sure no spots mare that perfect shine.
Once these compounds run off your lawn or down the drain, however, it’s not such a pretty picture: They end up local watersheds and quite literally suck all the air out of the river, lake or bay. OK, a more scientifically sanctioned way of saying it: the chemicals consume so much oxygen that it makes it hard for aquatic life to survive.
But, heck, at least the dishes look great, right? This New York Times story notes people are rebelling against detergent reformulated to ditch the phosphorous in favor of more environmentally friendly — but less spot-busting — ingredients.
Meanwhile, the Virginia Pilot reports on last Saturday’s face off between environmentalists and the administration of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell over efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, which has a hardcore phosphorous problem. The governor’s office is pushing a “nutrient trading” scheme that bears a strong resemblance to abandoned efforts in the U.S. Congress to set up a pollution cap-and-trade system. But Ann Jennings of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation isn’t buying the plan as a viable solution to the Bay’s long-running problems.
Posted on September 20, 2010, in Carbon footprint, Climate Change, Environment, environmental justice, Green Living, greenwash, health, lifestyle, Local Politics, National Politics, sustainability, Washington, World. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.