Tuesday, February 15, 2011
::C O T T O N:: HOW THIRSTY IS YOUR TSHIRT
LE POTAGER from Benoit MILLOT on Vimeo.
With a grateful 'Bravo' I thank BenoitMillot for his touching video (s). To enjoy more his work, please visit the link above.
Cotton is one of the most environmentally destructive agricultural crops. In pesticide use in the US alone, it is staggering – 125 million kilograms annually.
The need for fresh water ranks among the most urgent environmental challenges of this century.
The textile industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. The World Bank estimates that almost 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles.
Cotton production accounts for 2.6% of annual global water usage. A single T-shirt made from conventional cotton requires 2700 liters of water, and a third of a pound of chemicals to produce.
Many believe that conventional cotton uses much less water than organic cotton, but in fact the opposite may be true. By beginning with healthy soil, organic cotton farmers need not supply intense irrigation for their crops—the plants themselves use water much more efficiently due to the inherent health of their surrounding environment.
Organic cotton has undoubtedly sounded like the overwhelming choice thus far, but nothing is perfect. India, Turkey, Peru, China and Africa currently grow more organic cotton than the United States does. What does this mean? It means that the next organic cotton T-shirt you buy was likely grown hundreds of thousands of miles away, shipped around the world to be processed, then shipped to a retailer and finally to you. That’s a big carbon footprint for one T-shirt!
All hope is not lost for organic-cotton fans who appreciate local production. States such as Texas, California and New Mexico are continually expanding their organic cotton production. Still, the United States is one of the world’s top conventional cotton producers, making it a vital force in the cotton market and one we should continually influence to embrace organic growth and production.
About GMO .... There’s a reason that the Department of Agriculture does not allow the use of GMO seeds for organic cotton—they aren’t as successful as they sound on paper. Monsanto, a manufacturer of GMO seeds and pesticides, claims that a study showed its Bt (Bacillus Thuringiensis, a naturally occurring soil bacterium) cotton yields 30 percent more fiber than non-GMO seeds. A little digging quickly proved that Monsanto was a sponsor of this “scientific” study.