Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Do Household Rubber Gloves and Deforestation Have in Common?

By Kay Reeve

Just about every household in the UK owns or has owned a pair (or lots more) of rubber gloves for washing up. Like all little items we use, add together the rubber gloves of the population since they were introduced in the 1960's and that's a lot of washing up gloves.

Those rubber gloves all end up in landfill and that doesn't even start to include the more commercial and industrial gloves used in medical and health professions or catering, let alone the cotton lined heavy-duty gloves worn by workers and engineers. They are simply a pair of fitted rubber bags with five digits that we find under the sink when we need them.

Rubber Gloves can be made from a variety of materials including PVC, nitrile, neoprene and natural rubber. Household Gloves are generally made from natural latex rubber. A sustainable, renewable, organic material that's healthy and indispensible for women who love taking care of their hands and finger nails. At least that's what we like to think.

Latex Rubber comes from tropical forest areas and because of our climate differences, all rubber is imported out of necessity. It is critical that deforestation stops - but while demand for latex rubber remains high, demand will be met by communities and companies that are only concerned with meeting that demand and making the most profit in the process. They show little regard for the land, communities and wildlife they are destroying along with the trees.

One way to combat deforestation without being able to picket, protest or visit the forests is to stop buying rubber products of any description if you are uncertain of the origin of the materials. Buying natural latex rubber is certainly better than purchasing chemically processed rubber, as long as you are not allergic to natural latex. Natural could still be a wild rubber tree that has been axed and processed without concern for the tree, its environment or the wildlife that it supports.

This link shows both disturbing and interesting facts about the Amazon Rain Forest over the last 40-50 years and why we need to be more careful with this valuable resource.

The only way to be certain is to choose natural latex rubber that comes from FSC Forestry Stewardship Council certified forests and purchased under Fair Trade conditions. This way you are helping to support not only your own environment and landfill sites, but also that of the rubber tree, the farmers, their families and protecting the wildlife that habitats their surroundings.

Green Tips Household Rubber Gloves are just one example of eco products where you can make a small change in your household and have a positive impact on people who care enough to look after our earth, while boycotting those that don't.

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