As digital cameras are becoming more popular nowadays, it seems that everyone has one. You may have already purchased a new digital camera instead of a traditional film camera. The environmental activist may be thanking you for doing that.
The digital camera can reduce the destructive impact on the environment compared to film cameras. How is it possible? You may think that your film camera does not do any harm to the environment. It was not your traditional film camera that harmed the environment. Your film processing did indeed do the harm because film photo processing centers uses chemicals.
Any time you take your pictures to a photo processing center, the film is run through batches of chemicals. These chemicals are environmentally hazardous. Once they have been used to process film, the chemicals must be immediately discarded. These chemicals are the developer solutions and the fixer solutions.
When the chemicals are used, they have to be discarded in an environmentally sound way according to the environmental protection law of the country. Because it is expensive to do so, many film processing companies just pour the chemicals down the drain.
While many bigger and better known companies probably adhere to the environmental laws, many of the smaller companies probably do not follow the law. And this means these chemicals enter the water supply and go downstream. And we consume the water ultimately.
In international waters, cruise ships do not have to adhere to the environmental protection laws. Cruise ships dump raw sewage into the open ocean on a regular basis and that includes the film developing chemicals into the open ocean. This is done routinely and it is happening all over the world.
They develop your film for all the pictures you took while on holiday and then dump the polluting chemicals to the ocean water. And we are still wondering why our oceans are dying and our coral reefs are dying at a fast rate.
With digital photography, we do not need to use all of those chemical solutions for developing photographs. Most digital cameras nowadays use rechargeable batteries. These batteries do not end up being thrown away at our landfills everyday. This is good as we do not want too much alkaline batteries pollution.
The rising digital camera popularity perhaps has a net positive effect for the environment. With the advances in our technology, the manufacturing process of digital cameras may become more environmentally friendly too. Lets hope our engineers may devise ways to do so. Until then, enjoy your photo shooting and ply a part in reducing environmental waste.