The current world we live in demands a convenient lifestyle which overshadows all other thoughts and perceptions. As such, not many of us aware of the different ways in which our daily actions are harming the environment, including the seemingly harmless things we dispose of every day. Here are 8 such every day products that we hardly realize harm the environment drastically.
Disposable Paper Cups
While we know that plastic cups are harmful for the environment, not many of us realize that disposable paper cups also belong to the same category. In order to resist the heat and moisture, these cups are coated with low density polyethylene. Polyethylene is not at all bio-degradable and would take over 20 years to decompose. If that is not enough, then the production of these paper cups leads to mass level deforestation and water usage while letting out plenty of dirty water as by product.
While anti-bacterial soap may be considered good for your body, it is definitely not good for the environment. Nearly 90% of antibacterial soaps contain a non-biodegradable substance called triclosan. In spite of being flushed down the drains, small traces of this substance remain in the water and even in the sewage plants. These, in turn, get absorbed by the soil near lakes and rivers, affecting plants and animals in the process.
Many companies boast of making tea bags out of paper fibers. But these tea bags also contain traces of substances like plastic polypropylene for heat resistance. This substance is non-biodegradable and remains in the landfills for more than 20 years.
Bleached Coffee Filters
A lot of us think that coffee filters are biodegradable. While brown paper filters are, bleached coffee filters are not. The bleached variety contains substances like chlorine as well as a toxin called dioxin which are extremely harmful for the environment. Using bleached coffee filters will therefore increase your contribution towards environmental degradation.
While we tend to take extra measures tostay away from plastic bottles, not many of us are aware that very tiny pieces of plastic can be found in almost every day to day item that we use, including toothpastes and soaps to face and body washes. These microbeads of plastic eventually find their way to the oceans where they will accumulate over a period of time and wreak havoc on the marine ecosystem, affecting marine organisms and starving coral reefs of food.
The Chinese and Japanese promote the use of wooden chopsticks to eat meals. However, no one knows exactly how many trees are felled in the process of making these chopsticks. Here’s a staggering count. Accordingly, over 3.8 million trees are felled every year to make 57 billion pairs of disposable wooden chopsticks to be used in China, Japan, South Korea and the US among other countries.
Disposable razors have become very popular today owing to their ease of use (simply use them and throw them away). But did you know that these razors can harm the environment as well? While the steel blades present in these razors can be recycled, the actual plastic body cannot. Couple that with the production costs as well as amount of water used in production and usage, and you will definitely come to realize that these disposable razors are not that convenient for the environment as they are for you.
Rather than throwing out old, used up printer cartridges, consider refilling them. Not many of us know that these printer cartridges are not that easy on the environment. Plus, about 2.5 ounces of oil is used to product just a single cartridge. Therefore, reusing them would be a better option as you can simply refill them or recycle them instead of contributing more to the wastage of fuel resources.
A lot of products we use on a daily basis are killing the environment. From tea bags, disposable razors and printer cartridges to even wooden chopsticks, these are some every day products that are harming the environment significantly.