Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Environmental Danger Warning Labels

Similarly to cigarette and alcohol warnings of health dangers, these labels would warn of products' dangers to Earth.
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

Styrofoam ® (or polystyrene foam). Someone I know calls it "the Devil's material" and I agree with that sentiment. I see my office use up an entire stack of styrofoam cups each morning and it makes me cringe to know these cups will linger in a landfill long after I'm dead and gone.

There are also plenty of chemicals that are used by people on a daily basis - shampoo, cleaners, pesticides, etc. - that are harmful to the environment.

I propose we start adding warning labels to these household products, so consumers can no longer use ignorance as an excuse for carelessness. My goal is to make people mindful of which products contain chemicals that may pollute the air, water, or food supply of our planet.

We already warn consumers to keep chemicals away from our eyes or skin if damage would likely occur, but what about indirect damage? It all affects us eventually.

These labels may say something like...

"WARNING: This product contains one or more volitile chemicals that may pollute groundwater. Pollution in groundwater can poison wildlife and may eventually cause cancer or other health problems in wildlife and humans."

"WARNING: Antibacterial agents contained in this product may adversely upset the balance of microorganisms, which can eventually lead to an overabundance of resistant bacteria. Please use with caution."

"WARNING: This product contains materials that do not biodegrade for centuries.

These environmental danger warning labels would have to be a governmental thing, of course, as no company would voluntarily voice environmental dangers on their own products. My hope is that if the government exposed these dangers to the public, that companies would be more careful about making more Earth-friendly products, so they don't legally have to carry these warning labels.

XSarenkaX, Aug 24 2005

Pollution in Newborns (yes, human newborns) https://www.ewg.org...-pollution-newborns
Think of the children! [XSarenkaX, Aug 24 2005]

Earth Friendly Products https://web.archive...outsub/freedom.html
I like this company's products. They are safer than the typical stuff out there today. [XSarenkaX, Aug 24 2005]

Physics Warning Labels https://stuff.mit.e...warning_labels.html
From The Journal of Irreproducible Results. [farble, Aug 24 2005]

Fabric labelling http://strategis.ic...sf/en/ca02009e.html
Requires some understanding of why the choice is given. [reensure, Aug 24 2005]

Bag It, the Documentary http://www.bagitmovie.com/
If you think this idea is too much, you should watch this movie. See trailer and other info at the website. [XSarenkaX, Feb 17 2012]

EPA: Make Non-Biodegradable Garbage Tell People How Bad It Is http://www.change.o...eople-how-bad-it-is
This is the petition I created for the EPA to consider doing this. Please sign and share!!! [XSarenkaX, Feb 22 2012]


       A worthy cause, but current industry-mandated labels are so fraught with politics and commercialism that the net result is misleading, if not entirely inaccurate - witness the candy marketed as "fat free." Furthermore, there is not anything in our lives that is not harmful in excess.   

       But anything that increases public awareness and individual education as to the environmental impact of different products and packaging options, gets a croissant from me.
DrCurry, Aug 24 2005

       A general purpose warning from the list of physics warning labels (see link):   

       Public Notice as Required by Law: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.
farble, Aug 24 2005

       I love it, [farble]! The world would be covered in these labels, wouldn't it?
XSarenkaX, Aug 24 2005

       Yes, [XSarenkaX], and the more depressing the label, the more it matches my frame of mind having just returned from vacation.
farble, Aug 24 2005

zeno, Aug 24 2005

       Is there not a series of dots on labels that does just this? Hmm. <link>   

       Although it would appear those are just to give you some idea of the energy and chemical resources used to maintain the product and what chemicals or natural fibers comprise it, nothing about whether the products were carried by donkey to market or floated inside wax balls, and certainly nothing about the slave labor hours involved or the economics of skin cancer solutions. heh.   

       Sorry, the Idea seems like a thinly veiled rant to me, so I reciprocated.
reensure, Aug 24 2005

       If there are dots on labels already, I'm certainly not aware what they mean. What could is a code if nobody understands it? What's wrong with plain English?   

       The dots in your link are about temperatures for washing labeled garments. They appear to have nothing to do with the garments' or other products' effects on the Environment.
XSarenkaX, Aug 24 2005

       //that companies would be more careful about making more Earth-friendly products// Conventional wisdom would say this should happen. But I'm constantly amazed by people... cigarette labels basically say "This Will kill You", but nothing changes. In the United States, not only has the paradigm not shifted yet, but it is barely moving - most cities here don't even recycle. The potential of this idea may be entirely lost on the country that causes the most problems. Maybe if the rest of the world does it, the U.S will follow 50 years later.
sleeka, Aug 24 2005

       I had forgotten about this old idea of mine and was about to submit a similar one, but after finding it, I'm disgusted that so much time has gone by with no progress on this matter. There are now multiple islands of unbiodegradable plastics and garbage in our oceans, killing millions of birds and other wildlife by being mistaken of bits of food by many species, or simply becoming unavoidable traps. We are suffocating our own planet in exchange for disposable products and packaging. My office manager, after years of enforcing a wonderful washable mug policy, has yet again caved in to the demand for styrofoam cups in the kitchen. Seeing that unholy stack of cups every day makes me so mad. I cannot seem to explain that we all have an interest in stopping the madness, but it is falling on deaf ears. I'm hoping I an elicit a change somehow. One small step would be to change the law to enforce the printing of warning labels on these harmful products. I'd really love to see a giant skull and crossbones printed on each styrofoam cup as well, but I'll aim smaller. A simple fact about the product or packaging material causing harm to something should be printed on each and every piece of styrofoam, unrecyclable plastic, or plastic-coated paper cup that will be sold. Cigarette warnings aren't a "cure" for smoking, but they do help contribute to society's knowledge about the choice to smoke. As a whole, I'd really like to see society wise up about how poorly we are treating our planet. Doing something will help a lot more than continuing to do nothing.
XSarenkaX, Feb 17 2012

       Yahbut, from an environmental point of view, styrofoam/plastic is in the same category as rock or wood: not particularly edible, nor reactive nor poisonous.   

       Perhaps it could be salted with a nutrient of some kind or at least something that responds to stomach acid in animals to break the physical size down further to facilitate excretion.
FlyingToaster, Feb 17 2012

       Perhaps third and subsequent children could be suitably tattooed?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 17 2012

       Our office recently purchased a new water cooler. It included a manual that said "Your old water cooler may contain coolants THAT ARE BELIEVED to deplete ozone in the upper atmosphere..."
ye_river_xiv, Feb 19 2012

       I posted a link to a petition I created at Change.org. It's directed at the EPA to consider. Please sign and share this petition. Many thanks!!
XSarenkaX, Feb 22 2012

       The petition has gotten 50 signatures thus far. Thanks!
XSarenkaX, May 10 2012

       We could add many, many more, but quite frankly we get a laugh from watching your species comprehensively screw up the only planet it has ...
8th of 7, May 10 2012


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