Driving is one of the chief means people prefer to go about their daily activities. However, with as many as 273.6 million motor vehicles in the United States alone, the environment pays the price in the cost of fumes produced by cars when burning gasoline.
With so many people owning cars in other parts of the world, the effect on the environment is gigantic. People should opt for car-pooling or be more willing to use public transportation as a means of travel to reduce the carbon footprint.
2. Improper disposal of batteries and ink
Household batteries contain traces of mercury and other toxic chemicals that damage wildlife and sea life when they accumulate and leak into ecosystems around the world due to improper disposal. Ink cartridges, on the other hand, have a more toxic effect on the environment when not disposed of correctly.
Each year millions of cartridges end up in landfills every single year which poisons the soil and further degrades the environment. These chemicals have the added ability to accumulate within the animals (termed as biomagnification) – meaning that they are passed along the animal life cycle and food chains harming even more and more animals.
3. Excessive use of plastic
Items on sale in shops are mostly packaged in plastic containers. On top of this, most carrying bags offered at the cashier’s register are also plastic in nature. Statistically, the food packaging accounts for nearly 70% of all household trash and waste that eventually end up in landfills.
The problem is that plastics are a major pollutant to the environment due to their inability to degrade naturally having a life cycle that can extend to millennia. This means that as more and more plastics end up being dumped in landfills, decomposition does not take place thus adding any value on earth.
4. Throwing food as waste
Many people think that it is a formal courtesy not to completely empty a plate during a meal. But, throwing food is bad in the sense that it is a basic necessity which more unfortunate people can’t access. Throwing food is even worse for the environment because forests are cleared and emissions are made in the process of cultivation, transportation, and processing.
Besides, if the waste food is not disposed of properly, it can lead to an increase in the organic matter in waterways and other aquatic environments that can augment the growth of algal blooms.
5. Using paper
Paper is used on a daily basis by human beings in different forms. Examples include the use of paper towels in the kitchen, tissues in the toilet, and in the print media for our daily reads. Regardless of our daily use of paper, what we as humans overlook, is that it is made from trees.
6. Boiling water using electricity
Boiling water for use in the shower or kitchen for your morning cup of coffee is extremely inefficient. The amount of energy used to boil water using electricity makes it one of the most expensive methods as compared to gas.
The large amounts of energy required to translate into problems on the production end of things. As a lot of electricity is generated via coal and diesel engines, increasing the power load by using the boiler or coffee maker has a big toll on the environment.
7. Washing one’s face
People are using face washes that mostly contain plastic exfoliating micro-beads, which are being termed by researchers as a serious environmental problem. The beads are not filtered during sewage treatment due to their small size.
When released into water bodies, they are swallowed by fish and other marine animals that harm their health and could poison their organs or damage their gills.
The beads also destroy the animal’s internal systems as they are made with the purpose of scrubbing during use by humans. It is the bead’s abrasive nature that is damaging to aquatic animals.
8. Eating meat
One of the most widely produced greenhouse gases in the world is methane. This gas traps heat within the atmosphere. As research postulates, the biggest producer of methane gas is farmed livestock. In this sense, the production of animal products is a large contributor of methane, a greenhouse gas mostly from animal manure and enteric fermentation.
By continuing to demand meat products, the farmers continue to increase the supply of the goods by keeping more animals and in turn leading to more greenhouse gases. This cycle breeds more problems for the environment. Alternative protein sources should be pursued to provide food for people without the environmental cost that farmed food entails.
9. Flushing the toilet
Flushing the toilet uses a bucket of The better alternative would be to use compost toilets. The use of this option instead of water is a good alternative since the waste can be used for projects such as the manufacture of manure.
10. Brushing teeth