Some people think that even if they try to help the environment, it is fruitless because of the enormity of the task. “Other people are just going to pollute it and destroy it again” the thinking goes. But by doing nothing, aren’t we also guilty of apathy? Even if it doesn’t seem to make a difference, doing little things, such as recycling, can add up. The environment is a very precious part of our lives. If we ruin it, it’s not going to magically become better again.

Our Top Story this month delves into an area called “sewage epidemiology”. Previously used to detect illicit drugs, it has evolved into a wide area of study more akin to “chemical mapping”. One study calculated per capita chemical consumption and, based on levels found in sewage sludge, estimated exposure to more than 70 pharmaceuticals and other chemicals used in consumer products. “This work lets us put a finger on the chemical pulse of a nation,” says, environmental scientist Rolf Halden.

What you buy and consume matters, and it directly affects the rest of the world. Lead the way wherever you are and whoever you are by taking responsibility for your impact on this precious planet.

– Lisa James.

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