Did you realize that if you are an advocate of buying products Made in America you are also a environmentalist? It’s true. You don’t have to buy American-made products containing recycled materials to be eco. Your made in USA purchase just did something to save the earth. You reduced the impact of shipping on the environment plus reduced our dependency on foreign oil.
Beyond the obvious your decision did much more than you realize. This is what did NOT occur during a sea voyage to get foreign made goods to the USA:
1. Ballast Water Discharge- This is water which is taken on in one country and discharged when the ship unloads its cargo. This not only hurts marine life it can kill us since it is full of biological materials, including foreign plants, animals, viruses and bacteria.
2. Sound Pollution- This is a misunderstood type of pollution. Many marine animals rely on sound for their orientation, communication, and feeding. The biggest offender comes from the large propellers on commercial ships. Since sound travels faster and farther in water than air, the ships are causing havoc in the “silent world” of the ocean.
3. Ship impacts- Whales and manatees are at risk from being killed by ship collections. Currently the biggest threat to the North Atlantic Right Whale is injury sustained from ship strikes. The whales and manatees have a 79% chance of being killed when struck by a ship going 15 knots.
4. Exhaust emissions- This is the pollution you were expecting to be on the list. The emissions from ships not only impact marine life, they also kill people living in coastal cities due to various lung ailments. Forty percent of air pollution over land is estimated to come from ships.
5. Oil Spills – Human error can do a lot of damage. The March 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska killed 400,000 seabirds, 1,000 sea otters and massive numbers of fish.
6. Sewage, Graywater & Solid Waste – This is a big mess. The sewage and graywater dumped overboard contains bacteria, pathogens, viruses and intestinal parasites. In addition the general trash from the ship consisting of glass, paper, cardboard, aluminum, steel cans and plastics are thrown overboard adding to the floating dump yard and landing on our beaches.
7. Bilge Water- Oil and gas from the ship’s machinery mixes with the water in the hull. This murky soup plus by-products from the biological breakdown of petroleum products in the ship can cause harm to fish and wildlife and pose threats to human health if ingested.
Congratulations Environmentalist. You have another reason to share with others on why they should buy Made in America goods.