We are all aware of the negative impact human life has on the environment. But we attribute it to major causes like industrial pollution, population explosion, deforestation and the like. What we don’t realize is that many mundane activities which are part of our daily lives also contribute to environmental problems and climate change in a big way.
Take a look at some of the common things we do each day, without knowing that they are harming our surroundings.
- Online Shopping
This is a rage these days and why not? Thanks to great discounts, convenience and home deliveries, almost everyone is addicted to shopping on the internet. Every house receives at least one parcel every ten to fifteen days. Some even more. When you shop at a store, you can often avoid taking plastic bags or use recyclable paper bags instead for your items. The problem with online shopping is the huge amount of plastic and carton used in packaging and delivering.
On one hand, civic authorities have been urging people to reduce their consumption of plastic but on the other, we are encouraging it by making more and more purchases online and having them delivered to our residence.
Also, numerous vehicles are plying across the country taking all these parcels from one place to another, thus adding to pollution even further.
- Using beauty products or toiletries that contain micro beads
Many cosmetic brands have launched face washes, scrubs or shower gels that contain micro crystals or micro beads. These are said to help skin exfoliation and make it smoother. What they do not tell us is that these beads are particles of solid plastic. These get washed away with water and end up in the oceans along with other marine plastic litter which causes great harm to aquatic life.
- Leaving appliances plugged in
We have been told time and again that all switches must be kept off when not in use. And many of us follow it too. But we don’t always unplug devices or appliances from the socket. Although leaving them plugged in does not consume extra electricity but it does lead to some energy loss. Even when turned off, some appliances keep drawing power known as ‘phantom energy’.
- Throwing away batteries
We change the cells in our remotes, watches and other household items very often and just chuck them in the trash. Batteries contain high levels of mercury and lead so wrong disposal can lead to soil pollution as the chemicals within leak and mix in the soil. Hence, batteries must be recycled or sent to appropriate channels that dispose them in a safe way- especially batteries of automobiles or electronic appliances.
- Using Plastic Straws
Being plastic items, their use must be avoided along with all other plastic objects but it doesn’t really happen in case of straws. This little plastic item is an essential part of our life. No matter where you go- restaurants, cafes, bars or even roadside food carts; everyone uses them. The fact that they are made out of plastic which causes harm to the environment is serious in itself, but what is more alarming is that this is a one-time use product. They are produced in masses and end up in water bodies or garbage dumps. Moreover, these take hundreds of years to decompose.
In order to make a noticeable difference to the climate conditions in the current world, we must be aware of our resource consumption so that it can be altered as needed. When it is about saving the environment, every tiny bit of effort makes a difference. And even a little carelessness causes great harm.