We all have habits, some good and some bad. When it comes to conservation and the environment, often times we have many more bad habits than good.
Although this list may seem like not a big deal to you, think about if everyone in the world did the same as you? Wasted resources, polluted the earth, and the like. Because even if it seems so minute on a personal level, when an entire society (or the majority) takes part in bad environmental habits; they seriously add up.
Here we list 11 small (yet huge) habits that are destroying and killing the environment. Hopefully this list makes you conscious of them, and next time you come across them you will correct it and do the opposite of bad and choose a greener alternative.
1. Running the dishwasher when it’s not full
Running a dishwasher that is not full is practically putting tons of water and resources to waste. Unless your dishwasher is old and needs less items in it to clean thoroughly, waiting to fill your dishwasher entirely can be a great way to get the most efficient usage out of your machine.
This is the same as a laundry machine; while you can’t overfill it, you don’t want to underfill it either and waste a lot of resources like water and electricity.
Note: A lot of dishwashers and laundry machines these days are outdated and inefficient in the first place; if you can, you might want to switch to newer and more efficient ones.
2. Using non-reusable plastic water bottles
I don’t know which is worse; wasting money on non-reusable plastic water bottles or the fact that plastic water bottles typically end up in landfills. Think about this for a second…
If you drink 2 bottles of water a day, everyday for a year, that adds up to 1,0 95 bottles. Now imagine if only 75% of those actually got recycled and 25% didn’t. You would end up with approximately 274 bottles that ended up in a landfill or worse, the wild.
All of this could be avoided and even money could be saved simply by investing in a quality reusable water bottle. They average around $10 for a decent one, and the benefits are endless.
3. Eating meat all too often
Although I don’t see everyone ending their meat eating habits entirely, all of the time, I think it is totally possible to go just one day a week without it. This is typically referred to as “Meatless Mondays” and it’s the day of the week a lot of people choose to go without meat.
There is no specific reason behind the day Monday except for the fact that meatless and Monday sound good together.
To inspire you to downsize your intake of meat, here’s an interesting fact for you. To produce beef it requires almost 2,000 gallons of water to make per pound. Not per animal or anything, but for a single pound of it. If those numbers don’t scare you, I’m not sure what will!
4. Too lazy to recycle
Have you ever found yourself in a situation in which your laziness overcame your love for the environment? Laziness is very powerful, and if you let it get to you then you might see yourself saying “this one time won’t hurt” when it comes to not recycling something.
Take the extra step, find a recycle bin, and put your recyclables in there. If you do this, your environmental impact will be lessened.
5. Driving to close places
If you have to go somewhere that is rather close (less than a few miles), what’s the harm in walking or riding a bike?
If you are going on a small errand, work, or over a friends, consider walking or taking a bike if you can. If that isn’t possible and if you aren’t consumed in pride, you might want to consider the bus or carpooling.
6. Keeping spam email
Believe it or not, your email inbox is generating a carbon footprint. Although regular email that you actually want produces a carbon footprint, it is much lower than that of sending snail mail.
But when we consider spam email being something we don’t want at all yet we ignore it and simply delete it, we aren’t doing the earth a favor. By taking a few minutes everyday, unsubscribing from spam emails, you can slowly reduce the carbon footprint of your inbox.
7. Consuming content physically rather than digitally
Instead of reading the newspaper, how about going online and getting the digital version?
Instead of reading a magazine from the store, why not go check it out online too?
The content we find in physical stores can typically be found online too. So instead of spending money and wasting paper, check out the web beforehand and save yourself and the earth from the waste.
8. Forgetting (or not having) reusable bags
Reusable bags are getting cheaper and cheaper, and if you don’t really care about the design of them you can get them for just a dollar each.
Although plastic and paper bags are free at more stores, do you know where those bags end up? The ocean, forests, and even in your community. The cost is cheap to pick up enough reusable bags for your typical grocery store trip, and they will greatly reduce the harmful bags being let loose into the world.
9. Using products with microbeads
Microbeads are often found in hygiene products which are there to help exfoliate in face cleansers, clean better in toothpastes, and so on.
These microbeads are actually creating very bad situations to the water sources they end up in. They are soaking up toxins, ending up in water sources with other life in them, and affecting marine life in a very big way.
Try avoiding products with microbeads, and if you need something like it in your products; be sure to get ones that break down while and after you use them.
10. Leaving your lights on
While leaving a light on doesn’t seem like it will waste much energy, it really does add up just like everything else on this list does.
Especially if you have older technology lighting products like CFL or Fluorescent in your lighting fixtures, you could be using 50% more energy than you would if you had LED products in place. Educating everyone and yourself on the benefits of new technology lighting along with turning lights off when they aren’t in use is huge when it comes to energy conservation.
Takeway from this: Turn off lights when they aren’t in use and upgrade your lighting systems to new technology like LED, which will reduce your lighting energy usage up to 75%.
11. Not bring your knowledge to work
For some reason the urge to be environmentally friendly goes out of the drain when we go to a job that doesn’t actively promote green activities.
Taking the first step and pushing your environmentally conscious decisions while you go to work is the first step. Secondly, advocating for a greener company is the next step to get the entire company on board. From there, they will be able to take even bigger steps to reduce waste that you can’t do yourself, like replacing old inefficient appliances and technology!
To sum it all up, there you have 11 small (but very large) habits that you are probably doing that is killing the environment. Advocating and implementing the change of these habits daily is the main key to turning societies bad habits into good and conscious ones.
If you have any other habits we need to change or should be aware of, share them with us in the comments down below! We’d love to start a conversation about this, so don’t be afraid to do so, all thoughts are welcome.