Many of us are interested in reducing our environmental footprint wherever possible. As a result, we recycle, purchase eco-friendly products, and always choose paper over plastic. Yet, did you know that many habits we believe to be “eco-friendly” can be harmful to the environment? The following are a few supposedly “green” habits that can do more harm to the planet than good.
Are you committed to daily recycling? If so, great! But, you should know that there’s a right and wrong way to recycle. Though many of us are aware of the benefits of recycling, most of us missed the memo on how to recycle properly - which is unfortunate, since incorrect recycling results in additional waste. Here are a few things you should always do when recycling:
- Clean leftover food and waste from containers before recycling.
- Refrain from placing single-use plastic bags – like the ones you get from the grocery store – into curbside recycling bins. These bags often jam processing equipment.
- Check to ensure that the product you’re recycling is recyclable. This is especially true if the item is made of several different materials. It’s also worth noting that not all plastic is recyclable.
Failing to reduce and reuse.
Recycling isn’t the only way to show the environment love – and it definitely isn’t the only thing you should concern yourself with if you’d like to commit to a greener lifestyle. Don’t forget to reduce your daily consumption of the Earth’s resources and reuse materials when possible. A good way to do this is to lessen the number of things you buy and fight the urge to throw things away when they can – and should – be used again.
Relying upon paper bags.
Though paper is generally regarded as better for the Earth than plastic, manufacturing paper itself emits a lot of carbon into the atmosphere, which is no good for our delicate ecosystems. What’s more, paper production requires the cutting down of trees, which exacerbates many deforestation issues currently facing our planet. Instead of using paper bags, take things one step further by bringing a reusable bag to the store. These bags can replace hundreds of traditional plastic or paper bags over their lifetime!
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