5 Things That are Bad for The Environment That You Probably Do Everyday
One of our goals as human beings should be to leave the earth in a better condition than we found it. That includes doing as much as we can to reduce our footprint — a task that is sometimes easier said than done.
There are little habits we mindlessly practice every day without even realizing the negative effect they are having on our planet. The time it takes to break a habit varies and is by no means an easy feat, but even a little bit of change can go a long way to saving the environment.
- Using Plastic Bags
You probably know using a lot of plastic is bad for the environment. But if you live in a city with an initiative that places a surcharge on top of every plastic bag you use (in my city, it's 5 cents), you may be fooled into thinking that covers you. But you can still be minimizing the number of plastic bags you use. You can usually find cheap reusable grocery bags either at your grocery store or online — stock up and shop on.
- Online Shopping
Online shopping is frankly terrible for the environment in multiple ways, and because it's become so commonplace in so many parts of the world, it's starting to have a serious impact. Vox reported that the emissions from delivery trucks ferrying online-ordered packages to customers is creating serious issues, including a disproportionate amount of pollutant emissions.
- Washing Your Face
Many places have banned microbeads, the tiny, scrubby beads that became all the rage in body care products a few years ago. At one point, in New York state alone, more than 19 tons of microbeads were added to the water system in just one year, Business Insider reported. The U.S. has banned microbeads in products, but if you travel to another country or you buy body care products from outside the U.S., you may still be using products with microbeads.
Vehicles produce one-third of the U.S.’s air pollution, according to National Geographic, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, just one normal vehicle emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. So, while you probably know that vehicles overall affect the quality of our air, you may not realize just how much your individual car is adding to that pollution. The solution is one I know you've heard before: Use alternate modes of transportation if and when you're able, and if you're heading out with friends, do your best to carpool.
- Leaving Appliances Plugged In
All appliances that are left plugged into the wall will bleed some energy. Called "standby" electricity loss because it's so often associated with electronics in standby or idle mode, it's also known as "phantom" or "vampire" electricity” (for obvious reasons). Even turned off, many appliances keep drawing power.