World Environment Day 2020: Have you ever thought about how selfish and destructive nature of humans is affecting our planet? Did you even bother to research about how humans are contributing majorly to the destruction of the environment? No, right? Well, now is the time to do that. Simple things like beauty products that you are using daily travel a long way before reaching you. And, in the process, ingredients used to prepare these personal care products make the animals and environment suffer and have a detrimental effect on them. Also Read - World Environment Day 2019: This is How You Can be Environment-friendly During Periods

Apart from illegal animal trade for rhino horn and precious ivory, the beauty industry is also causing toxic damages to the environment and the biodiversity. Also Read - World Environment Day: 1 Lakh Kids Under 5 Years of Age Die Due to Air Pollution Each Year, Says Study

To prevent these ongoing destructions and educate people about the need to preserve the Eco-system on Earth, the UN General Assembly started a worldwide campaign called the World Environment Day in 1974. It is observed every year on June 5. The theme of the World Environment Day 2020 is “Biodiversity–a concern that is both urgent and existential.” We cannot exist on this plant alone. We need flora and fauna around us for our survival. Also Read - World Environment Day: PM Narendra Modi Reiterates Commitment to Ensure Cleaner Planet, Posts Video on Twitter

“Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water. Changing, or removing one element of this web affects the entire life system and can produce negative consequences”, says United Nations. To begin making positive changes in a bid to protect the environment, firstly we need to know how exactly we are causing destruction. Let’s start by understanding the role of beauty products in damaging the environment.

Your Sunscreen May be Destroying Coral Reefs

One of the most common ingredients used in most of the sunscreens is Oxybenzone, which is an active chemical known for absorbing UVA and UVB rays. Though it protects you from the harmful effects of sun rays, the chemical has a devastating effect on coral reefs. It leads to the bleaching of the coral reefs. We expose this underwater ecosystem to oxybenzone, when we swim in the ocean after applying sunscreen containing this chemical. It damages the DNA of coral reefs and also affects the reproduction and growth of the new corals. Notably, coral reefs are habitat for an array of marine organisms and they are also the source of food for millions.

World Environment Day 2020, How to stop this damage? Always buy a mineral-based sunscreen. Opt for one that has titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Use of Wet Wipes is Leading to Death of Marine Life

Wet wipes are widely used everywhere. Most of the wet wipes are non-biodegradable and easily flush-able. These are made of synthetic fibres and clog the landfill sites and block the sewage system after being flushed leading to their overflow in the rivers and oceans. After they reach these water bodies, sea creators ingest them and as a result, die. Also, a large number of wet wipes are washed up on the beaches causing pollution.

World Environment Day 2020, How to stop this damage?

Always go for wet wipes that are biodegradable and made from 100 per cent organic wood pulp, cotton, or bamboo.

Commonly Used Personal Care Products Are Causing Mass Deforestation

Personal care products including shampoos, toothpastes, and face washes are prepared using an ingredient called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This is what creates foams and gives you a clean face, hair, teeth, and creamy-textured lipsticks. To get this raw material, manufacturers need palm oil and to extract that, mass deforestation occurs. During this process, we do not only affect the level the oxygen in the atmosphere but also destroy the habitat of endangered animals. To prevent this destruction, we cannot entirely stop the extraction of palm oil as doing that means the loss of millions of jobs in the poverty-stricken areas. So, what should we do?

World Environment Day 2020, How to stop this damage?

You can opt for products that are prepared using 100 per cent sustainable palm oil. You can get that information by looking at the labels of the product. See if it has somewhere mentioned that the 100 per cent RSPO certified palm oil has been used to make this product. Notably, RSPO is a non-government body that ensures that no endangered species are affected and forests are cleared for the production of palm oil. Also, they make sure that there is lesser use of pesticides and fair treatment given to the labourers involved in the process.