4 Everyday Habits That Are Actually Bad for the Environment
So you want to do your bit to save the planet. You make an active effort to recycle and to reduce your energy consumption, but there are a few things which people across society do on a daily basis that you might not even realise are bad for the environment.
You might not think too much of these things – in fact, they might be a pretty normal part of your day-to-day life – but the behind-the-scenes processes that allow you to enjoy these habits make them a serious issue for the environment. Whether it’s methods of manufacture or the impact on carbon footprint, these seemingly innocent habits are adding to the damage that we are already inflicting on the planet.
Using a Taxi Unnecessarily
Okay, so you might not always feel like walking or cycling, but cars and other motor-vehicles pump carbon dioxide into the environment. This greenhouse gas accelerates climate change, because it traps heat inside Earth’s atmosphere, which, in turn, is causing the polar ice-caps to melt and is destroying animal habitats.
If you’re only taking a short journey, consider walking, running, or cycling instead of using a taxi service. Not only will it avoid unnecessary emission of carbon dioxide, but it will also save you money and give you a bit of exercise!
Eating Fast Food
You’re probably used to hearing that you should avoid fast food because it’s bad for your personal health, but did you know that there are also environmental benefits to cutting these unhealthy meals out of your diet?
One of the biggest problems that environmental agencies face is the disposal of waste, and fast-food packaging accounts for a serious amount of rubbish that can be found on the streets. Rubbish on the streets is not just an eyesore, but valuable resources are also used in its disposal.
As well as pollution concerns, fast-food manufacture also creates several environmental problems. To use McDonald’s as an example, the process of making just one Big Mac results in 1-3.5kg of CO2 emission – it’s not just vehicles that produce this dangerous greenhouse gas.
Ordering Too Much Food when Eating Out
When you’re sitting in a restaurant and you’re feeling hungry, it can be easy to order more food than you need – in some cases, more than you can physically eat. We’ve all experienced this: you think that you can fit it all in when you’re ordering and your belly is rumbling, but once you get about halfway through the meal, you find that you can’t possibly eat any more.
Portion sizes have been gradually increasing over the years, with people ordering more food than ever before. This results in tons of food-waste being sent to landfill sites, where it is left to break down naturally. When food-waste deteriorates, it releases the greenhouse gas methane. Like CO2, this gas traps heat inside the Earth’s atmosphere, but it is 25 times more harmful than CO2 to the environment.
Disposing of Mobile Phones
Up to 80% of the average mobile phone is recyclable, but that doesn’t mean that people actually recycle their old mobiles. Mobile phones are made up of electronic components and are powered by batteries (which include chemical components). When a phone is simply put in the bin, it’s sent to landfill, where these components break down and release potentially harmful elements into the environment.
There are a couple of ways that you can dispose of your phone properly:
- Pass it on: You can give your old phone to a family member, a charity, an online recycling service, or trade it in for a newer model.
- Recycle: Recycling-centres have specialist bins in place for small electricals. All you have to do is pop your old device in the right container and it will be dealt with properly.
Make Your Property More Eco-Friendly
With its continuous use of energy, your property can also have a negative impact on the environment, and managing your energy usage properly will not only bring your monthly costs down, but it will also make your property more eco-friendly.
If you’re looking for a smarter way to make your property more energy-efficient, take a look at our smart-home products.