All of us are responsible to conduct ourselves in a way that does not cause any damage to the environment. We know how industries pollute the environment, but did you know that some of our habits too put a strain on the environment. It’s easy to put the blame on issues such as exhaust fumes, industrial waste, drilling the oceans and so on, but we are not aware that some of our common daily habits are quite bad for the environment. Here are some things we do which harm the environment:
Using plastic and paper bags
Paper and plastic shopping bags are really convenient but if they’re not recycled, they end up in the landfills. You could use cloth bags which are reusable and stronger than both plastic and paper bags. These reusable cloth bags cost very little and last for years, and have no negative impact on the environment.
Leaving on the lights
We can conserve electricity by switching off the lights whenever we leave the room. We should switch off the lights whenever we leave the room. Leaving on the lights in rooms when we are not using them is a bad habit that most of us have. Switching off lights when not required will conserve some electricity, and what’s more, you’d see a reduction in your electricity bill too.
Using facewashes with microbeads
Facewashes containing microbeads are actually quite harmful for the environment. These microbeads are too small to be fitered during the treatment of sewage, and end up in the sea. Small fishes and other sea animals swallow these plastic microbeads. Researchers found 1,500-1.7 million of these microbeads, per square mile in the waters of the Great Lakes. Many states in the US have banned these microbeads. These beads could damage your skin too, if you scrub too hard. You can use natural scrubs like oatmeal to clean your pores and stop using facewashes with microbeads.
We hardly ever measure out the cups when we put the kettle on. You may not be aware of the amount of water wasted over the years when you boil more than you need. And of course, you’d be using too much electricity or heat when you boil more water than what is required. So measure the amount of water you need and boil only that amount.
Almost everyone has a car these days and this is leading to a huge amount of pollution. It would be a great help to the environment if we all started using public transport once in a while, or cycled nearby distances. Car pooling is also a good solution – you could carpool with neighbors to drop children to school or going out to buy groceries and so on. You could also carpool with colleagues who live near you and go to office together. Car pooling reduces carbon emissions and limits the use of fossil fuels.
Washing clothes is not a bad habit, but using products which contain chlorine bleach is very bad for the environment. Chlorine reacts with minerals in open water and forms dangerous toxins which does not disintegrate easily. Instead of using products with chlorine, you can add baking soda to your detergent powder to enhance the cleaning power. There are bleaches which contain oxygen that are better for the environment.
Did you know that a single pair of jeans are manufactured using a whopping 2,900 gallons of water? That is an average 130 showers a year! Since we cannot do without our jeans, we can certainly buy a few of them as we can, and save the planet a huge amount of water.
Throwing out batteries and ink cartridges
Ink cartridges and batteries should never end up in landfills. Batteries which we use for our household purposes contains toxic chemicals and mercury which cause a lot of damage to the ecosystem. Ink poisons the soil and therefore should be disposed of carefully. It’s easy to recycle batteries and cartridges, so be sure to send these two items to be recycled instead of dumping them in the trash.
Noting the little things we do and observing how our habits can harm the environment, can help us to change our habits for the better and contribute to conserving the environment.