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Posted by Andrew Rossillo
Andrew Rossillo
Hello there, I’m the staff writer for SeaBirdAdventure.com. This is an exception
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on Sunday, 07 August 2011
in Earth Blog

Can Dirty Cotton Destroy the Planet?

While sustainable agricultural practices have received a copious amount of exposure over the past decade in relation to conventional food's environmental impact, something often overlooked by consumers is supportable organic clothing. Among health concerns and other issues related to fabric being tinkered with by scientists and engineers on a molecular level, the farming methods used by conventional fiber producers are wreaking havoc on the Earth.


Cotton Production Earth Impact

A popular fabric found in almost every home is cotton. Cotton makes up over 50 percent of the clothing fiber sold not only throughout the United States of America, but globally as well. With its properties yielding superb results in terms of absorbency, heat conduction, resiliency and durability, it is easy to see why cotton is so widely utilized. However, as with any item in high demand, producers turn to methods that will yield the highest quality product and greatest return. In terms of conventional farming, the results are disastrous.

According to a 2007 study conducted by the Environmental Justice Foundation with the Pesticide Action Network, cotton is considered to be the most contaminated crop in the world. This is because of the heavy use of insecticides, which is also the most dangerous type of pesticide in terms of health hazards for both humans and animals. Cotton canvasses 2.5 percent of all the cultivated land in the world while using a staggering 16 percent of all global insecticides. This percentage demonstrates pesticide use for this fiber is higher than any other leading crop worldwide.

The World Heath Organization has classified methamidopho, aldicarb and parathion as being three of the most dangerous insecticides to the health of humans. This trio ranks in the top 10 insecticides most commonly utilized in cotton farming. The second best selling insecticide for use in cotton production is aldicarb, which is known for its extremely poisonous properties that if absorbed through skin tissue can kill a human within seconds. Even with the knowledge of how life threatening this substance is, it is still being utilized by over 25 countries, including the U.S. where trace amounts have been reportedly found in the groundwater of 16 states.

Natural fertilizers like compost and animal manure are incorporated by organic cotton farmers as opposed to using nitrogen synthetic fertilizers, which are considered extremely detrimental to our ecological system. With natural fertilizers, farmers are able to reuse nitrogen already residing in the soil instead of adding unnecessary amounts that can cause pollution and N20 emissions. As with any type of organic farming, the plants themselves are stronger and able to defend themselves against things like disease and predators which their chemically grown counterparts are too weak to do. Farmers are able to raise healthy crops without poisoning the soil through the use of preventative measures and organic plant management tactics. Support of the organic cotton industry is an absolute necessity to a healthy future of our planet.

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Hello there, I’m the staff writer for SeaBirdAdventure.com. This is an exceptional gig because I’m given the opportunity to combine my love for writing with my love for Mother Nature and exciting new technologies. Plus, I get to do it all alongside some very talented, earth-conscious folks—very nice combination. But this certainly isn’t all about me. I invite all of you to comment on my blog posts, add your three cents, and even suggest future topics for me to write about. This is most definitely a combined effort. A blog post every single day? Sure thing…comin’ right up. Check back daily for new posts, tell your friends, tell your cat, and think and do green. To your green future, Andrew Rossillo

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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