photo by kozumel (Flickr CC)

The amount of rubbish produced every year in the EU is 3 billion tonnes. This waste takes time to disintegrate and so mountains of garbage grow day by day.

At the Ikos waste management site in Normandy in the north of France, bacteria are being cultivated and used as a way of accelerating decomposition. Taking the liquid that comes off of household rubbish, they fill basins and store the sewer-like soup in warm conditions, allowing the bacteria present to multiply rapidly. This microbe-heavy concoction is then regularly poured on top of the rubbish where the bacteria munch through the waste.

Elsewhere in the Ikos site, land that has been subjected to oil spills or used as industrial wasteland gets a bacterial cleansing. Here the earth is separated and the polluted elements piled up and covered with plastic sheets. A system of pipes supplies oxygen to the soil, as the type bacteria that works on petrol needs oxygen to prosper.

Therefore, for each form of waste, there is a bacterium that can help reduce the time it stays visible and active in our immediate environment. Boosting bacteria may be a tool to keep fields green and prevent our world from being submerged by rubbish.

Chernobyl, the site of the worst nuclear accident in history (in 1986), is now attracting a growing number of tourists curious to see if life has returned to the area cordoned off for the past 24 years. Some say that in the absence of men, nature is flourishing. Although trees and shrubs have grown through the cracks of the abandoned buildings, not everyone is convinced that the site has become what you could call a nature reserve. The area remains highly radioactive, in some places levels are 10,000 times higher than average.

See more in this video:

Pollution from the combustion of fossil fuels causes global warming and acid rain. Pollution brings unexpected and sometimes serious and devastating changes in our land, rivers and sea environments. Pollution can kill animals and plants and it probably kills us too. We know that pollution can cause health problems such as respiratory illnesses. Polluting our world should not even be an option, especially when there are alternatives, as there are nowadays. And when we can’t do anything else, but pollute, we should be investigating the best alternatives to the polluting technology. We should be. Please check out the actions listed below which can help reduce the amount of pollution in our world.

  • Recycling everything that you can recycle!
  • Buy organic food! This can sometimes be slightly more expensive but it will reduce the amount of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, artifical fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics and who knows what else, being used in the agricultural industries.
  • Buy products with biodegradable packaging (or packaging that you will actively recycle). Look out for these in the shops you buy from, they should be clearly labelled.
  • Re-use your plastic shopping bags or better still don’t use plastic bags. Buy a rucksack or other bag to use for your shopping.
  • Use public transport, walk or cycle… or car share.
  • Use less harmful detergents in your home. For example the Ecover range of detergents are sensitive to the environment and the more people that use these the more we can reduce pollution of our environments.