Many people are doing their part to protect the environment. These activities include conserving electricity, installing weatherproofing, and recycling. These are important things to do to lessen our carbon footprint. But, there are some things in the market that have a huge effect on the environment.
We all think about ensuring our planet is protected for the future generations. But, we should think about ordinary consumer activities that have a negative effect on the environment. The following are things in the market that are bad for the planet. This list also offers alternatives that are beneficial for the environment.
1. Plastic Bottled Water
Statistic from Ban the Bottle shows that fifty billion plastic bottles are thrown away each year in the United States. The environmental organization supports the phase out of plastic water bottles that are only used once. In addition to throwing away the bottle, the wrapping or netting of the bottle cases also have a negative effect on the environment.
Rather than use these types of water bottles, a user-friendly filtration pitcher along with a refillable glass or metal bottle can be used. These items can last a very long time.
2. On-the-Go Coffee Cups
On-the-go coffee cups are made of three components. These components are the paper or polystyrene body, plastic cover, and cardboard sleeve. Bringing one cup to work every day is equivalent to 240 cups each year. This also means we contribute 720 individual pieces of garbage into the landfill each year.
The best way to avoid this is to brew your own coffee at home. You can also get inexpensive reusable travel mugs. These mugs can be filled at the coffee shop on your way to work. Aside from protecting the planet, you can also get a discount from some coffee shops for bringing your own mug.
3. Disposable Plastic Flatware
You can find disposable plastic flatware everywhere. These can be found in family barbecues to carry-out orders in a restaurant. Each plastic spoon, fork, knife, or spork can take around a thousand years before they disintegrate. This has a huge impact on the environment.
You can use stainless steel flatware rather than plastic ones. These are available in thrift stores or garage sales. Since you will get mismatched pieces, you will not worry if you lose one. You can also keep them inside your computer bag, purse, or compartment inside the car.
4. Disposable Paper Plates
Disposable paper plates are used in many events, including company cookouts. They are used in situations when plumbing is not readily available. But, there are instances when people would use disposable plates at home since it makes it easy to clean up after dinner.
The debate on whether it is better to use paper plates or wash plates using soap and water already has an answer. When it comes to environmental protection, using paper plates has a huge negative effect on the environment. It is an ecological burden to produce, package, transport, and recycle paper plates. Due to this, it is always better to use traditional ceramic dinnerware.
5. Disposable Cleaning Cloth
While the single-use cloth is ideal for cleaning floors and dusting, it is made of synthetic material. The material takes a very long time to degrade. Due to this, it is better to get a microfiber cloth that you can wash and reuse.
6. Single-Use Razors
It is not easy to recycle disposable razors since they are made of plastic and inexpensive metals. Due to this, around two billion pieces fill up the landfills in the US every year. You may want to buy an electric shaver or razors that use refillable cartridges if you shave daily. A straight razor can be an option if you want to go old school.
7. Disposable Plastic Bags
The US International Trade Commission indicates only six percent of plastic bags are recycled in the US every year. Consumers use around 100 billion pieces of plastic bags each year. The plastic bags that are not recycled will biodegrade filly after 1,000 years. Even as these bags are not technically bought, it is much better to use mesh, cotton, or canvas bags when you want to buy something.
You may also want to reuse the stock of plastic bags you have at home.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that 60 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions are connected to animal agriculture. When politics are set aside, we can focus on lessening the need to grow crops used for animal feed. The land can be used to grow crops used for human consumption. This maximizes the use of water and fuel resources. It also reduces deforestation. You can also save money if you lessen meat consumption. Using alternative healthy protein sources can be a start. These sources include quinoa, beans, and nuts. Meatless dishes can also be included in your weekly menu.
Which products have you stopped buying to help protect the environment? Tell us about it.