How Can I Use Digital Cameras To Save The Planet?

by : sayush

The issue of hazardous waste receives less attention than other environmental threats, with over 80,000 chemicals now in existence - not counting the additional 1,500 new chemicals developed on a yearly basis, with many being introduced into the industry fields. There seems to be insufficient data demonstrating the effects of every chemical out there, but what data is available shows that human health and the environment is in trouble.

The good news is, of all the environmental threats, the hazardous waste issue has the most successful solutions available to it. Scientists state that hazardous waste could be reduced about 1/3 by using the available technology and methods already present, such as using the more recently developed digital cameras.

This is because as more and more people moved away from conventional cameras for easier photography with higher quality results, they were unwittingly reducing the use of chemicals that were earlier being used to process the film. These chemicals, especially the developer and fixer solutions, had become serious environment hazards.

The United States laws have required that the "spent chemicals" should be made inert before they were disposed off in landfills. But more often than not, most film processing centers released the chemicals into the drain because of high expenditure involved in treating them before discharge. This was especially true of the smaller and locally owned companies, along with individual photographers, not only in the US but across the world.

But they were not the only ones who broke the laws, as the cruise ships in the international waters did even more damage. Routinely, developed pictures that were shot by the ship's passengers had their the film-processing chemicals dumped 'en route into the open ocean, since no restrictive laws applied to international waters. This plays a major part why our oceans and green reefs are dying at a rate faster than the rain forests.

Due to the development of the digital camera, incidents such as the environmental issues on cruise ships are not occurring as often. The same can be said of ponds and rivers that used to be polluted with chemicals flowing out of film processing labs, incidentally which still flow out of such labs in the third world.

Very few people take prints of the photographs today with the digital camera and have them processed in a lab, as most transfer the images into computers electronically and then print them out or send them via email. Also, used cartridges are usually recycled or dumped into landfills, very rarely finding they're way into major water bodies.

Similarly, the scale of impact is very low when it comes to rechargeable batteries yet still there in regard to alkaline batteries. This is because most of the batteries are rechargeable and no consumer disposes them till they are full exhausted. This means that an alkaline battery may continue to be used for weeks depending on the amount of camera usage.

Also, being a solid waste it is more likely to end up in landfills than in water bodies, causing more damage to the grassland or dirt in the area. An alternative to alkaline batteries for environmental safety is the NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) battery or the Li-Ion (Lithium Ion) batteries as they are environmentally friendly. So, if you are a nature lover dump your conventional camera and get a digital camera, with safer batteries.