Eco-friendly habits are beneficial in many ways, including helping to protect the environment and improve your well-being. However, some of these habits, when not done right, could cause more harm than good. According to several reports, the average American household generates over 4 pounds of waste daily, with only about 34% recycled. Further reports also indicate that many people who claim to be practicing eco-friendly habits at home are getting it wrong. Here are some you probably didn’t know about.
Throwing batteries in the trash
Throwing batteries in the trash is often considered an eco-friendly habit because many believe you can dispose of all waste in the trash. Indeed, it is understandable why you may think that the best way to discard spent batteries is the trash. However, this is not the case, as they contain toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury that can contaminate soil and water if not properly disposed of. It’s advisable to instead recycle batteries at a local recycling center. That is often the best way to dispose of them and protect the environment.
Washing clothes in hot water
Washing clothes in hot water is a common habit, but contrary to popular belief, it isn’t eco-friendly. Some people believe that hot water is the only way to kill germs from clothes. However, this is not entirely true, as most fabric cleaning detergents are anti-bacterial. Hot water uses more energy and contributes to the release of greenhouse gases. The energy required to heat water accounts for about 90% of the energy used in a typical wash cycle. Experts say that washing clothes in cold water can save up to 50% of the energy used in a typical wash cycle. Additionally, using cold water can extend the life of your clothes since hot water can shrink, fade, and damage the fabric. Warm or cold water with a non-toxic washing detergent can save the environment too.
Overusing reusable bags
Reusable bags are a great alternative to single-use plastic bags. However, they can also be harmful if you don’t use them correctly. For example, if you use a reusable bag only a few times before discarding it, it is not much better for the environment than a single-use plastic bag. Additionally, when you don’t properly clean reusable bags, they can harbor harmful bacteria and even pose food safety risks. According to research, reusable bags often contain potentially harmful bacteria after their first use, including pathogens like E. coli. Therefore, you should be extremely mindful when working with reusable bags. Your best bet is to wash them regularly and ensure they are properly dry before the next use. In washing them also, it’s vital to remember that some household cleaning agents are toxic to the environment. An option may be to use non-toxic cleaning soaps from sources like L’AVANT Collective, which can help reduce the environmental impact.
Developing eco-friendly habits is essential to help sustain the environment, conserve energy, and boost your well-being. However, in attempting to live more sustainably in your home, there are some habits you must avoid, including those listed above.
February 1, 2023 at 7:58 am
Thanks for bringing this up!
I have one more thing to add.
Many homeowners invest in highly-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in order to reduce energy consumption. While it’s the right thing to do, the effectiveness and efficiency of these systems may be highly compromised without proper insulation. Proper insulation is something that helps your HVAC system run smoothly and efficiently.
February 2, 2023 at 3:39 pm
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