Why a Reusable Mask is Better for the World
With the rapid decline in availability of surgical masks all over the world, more people have started opting reusable cloth masks to protect themselves. Not only does this decision help the medical professionals, it also helps maintain the ecological balance.
CDC has recommended that the common public wear home made or professionally made fabric masks while practising social distancing during these testing times, since they help slow the spread of Covid-19. It might be surprising that the face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. The predominant reason, in accordance with CDC’s current guidelines, for this is because of the lack of supplies for the frontline workers, the masks stated above are critical resources that must continue to be reserved for healthcare professionals and medical first responders.
The rewarding benefits of wearing fabric masks are:
- They’re reusable – One can wash and reuse them after using it once.
- They’re eco-friendly – Only 3-4 cloth masks would be required to survive the pandemic when washed and used precisely.
- They’ll prevent one from unknowingly spreading the virus.
- They won’t disrupt or cause imbalance in the medical-grade mask supply.
An article by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine recommends the public to look for professionally made cloth masks with at least 2 layers of fabric and one which covers the nose and mouth without large gaps; one that contours the face.
Image by Robin Benzrihem(@robinoode) via Unsplash(unsplash.com/photos/vdcK6_YxGwY)
Researchers in UK have calculated that if the entire population in the country were to use disposable masks daily, it would add up to about 42,000 tonnes of contaminated and non recyclable waste within just a year. Such mass amounts of contaminated waste and pollution would create an environmental hazard and would pose a threat to the sustainability and ecological balance. Reusable masks are therefore preferable over single use masks towards making a conscious effort in bettering the world. It is also imperative to safely dispose the cloth masks at the end of their useful life.
Ultimately, recyclable and reusable face masks don’t hurt anyone, and they only add to the welfare of one and the other people who might be at risk. Cloth masks are definitely the superior choice in terms of sustainability, less wastage and consequently the betterment of our habitat.