It is never too late to become environmentally conscious and every small thing you do matters. But most people have no idea where to even start from. Well, moderating your consumption is a good way to be environmentally-friendly so we will share with you 10 products you should avoid. You can make smarter choices and dramatically reduce the damage inflicted upon our planet. Not only that but you will be able to improve your lifestyle as well. Without further ado, one of the things you should avoid is... |
1. BPA plastic food containers Polycarbonate food containers and bottles containing bisphenol-A (BPA) can be recognized by their #7 recycling code. For years BPA has been dodging health concerns but environmentalists have it on their radars now. It is speculated that bisphenol-A is actually an endocrine disruptor because it can mimic estrogen (a female hormone) and may cause reactions in the body that are potentially harmful. Sure, plastic containers and bottles are very comfortable for use but if you really must use them, there is a variety of such that are free of BPA. Choose those marked with #2, 4, and 5 codes. Don't forget to recycle them afterwards.
2. Cosmetics containing aluminium Did you know that almost all commercial antiperspirants include aluminium in their chlorohydrate or aluminium zirconium in their ingredients list? This is disturbing because both are easily absorbed through the skin pores. Their purpose is to add the cooling effect that “a good” antiperspirant should have. However, it is speculated that the long-term use of products containing these ingredients is dangerous and it might lead to cancer – you ladies should be quite alert. Processed foods contain anti-caking agents, thus we get plenty of aluminium already.
3. Petroleum-based laundry detergents and fabric sheets They both smell great. But it is because they are created this way with the power of loads and loads of chemicals. Needless to say: chemicals = bad. The problem is that they are made from non-renewable petroleum products. The alternative is to switch to vegetable-based laundry soaps.
4. Ridiculously over-packaged goods The store shelf is a large retail battlefield, just ask any marketer. But common sense becomes the first casualty. So much material is wasted on over-packaged goods. You get a box of cookies full of small boxes of cookies. Yes, it is convenient but the price is high.
5. Napkins, paper towels, wet wipes Paper is actually a renewable source but it has to be managed properly. For instance, the toilet paper you're using is probably second hand. However, the fact is that we waste more paper than we should. This means that we waste trees and all the effort that went into cultivating them. It takes 20 years for a tree to grow and we waste it in minutes. There are many messes that are best cleaned up with paper but there is always an alternative – old rags and cloths will do just fine. And do you really need wet wipes impregnated with chemicals to clean your hands? What happened to good old soap and water.
6. Plastic utensils and bottles Another thing that rates very high on the waste scale is plastic. Most plastic utensils and bottles are marked for recycling but people rarely separate them from the junk – they just get used once and are thrown away after that. But most of them are made of high-quality plastic and there is demand for it. Not to mention that plastic can last virtually forever so once it in the environment, the damage is done. There is an unknown quantity of plastic that circulates in the world ocean and affecting marine life in a negative manner.
7. Commercial cleaning products Only God knows what commercial cleaning products really contain. Even those marketed as environmentally-friendly are bad. Not only that but they affect our health as well. Long term exposure to low rates of toxins coming from commercial cleaners is just as bad as exposure to high amounts of poisonous fumes. Scientists are linking cancer and other diseases with heavy-duty chemicals found in manufactured cleaning products. The alternative? There are plenty of choices. You can educate yourself in green cleaning – there are plenty of household products who have hundreds of practical uses including sanitization, stain removal, and deodorization. There are also professional cleaning companies who use detergents that are eco-friendly – cleaners in Barking is such a company.
8. Incandescent bulbs CFL bulbs are available everywhere at a cheap price so it makes no sense to buy outdated bulbs for most light fixtures and applications. However, CFL do not radiate light the same way as the old models – in fact, the light coming from them is actually bad for your eyes. Also, it is very important to dispose of in a proper manner because they contain a small amount of mercury.
9. Commercial insecticides Just like commercial cleaning products, the use of commercial insecticides is linked to various diseases – from lung disorders to Parkinson's disease. What made you think that poison used for bugs isn't poisoning your home (and you) as well? Also, there are many less toxic and non-toxic ways to deal with pests.
10. Styrofoam Just like plastic utensils and bottles, polystyrene foam is recyclable but most of it is scattered around the environment or ends up in landfills. Since it is made of, you guess it, petroleum – it is a non-renewable resource. On top of that it is not biodegradable. The simplest thing you can do is to to carry your own reusable cups for your coffee and skip fast food meals – they are only making you fat anyway.
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