6 Everyday Actions that Contaminate the Environment

Environmental contamination happens when there are harmful substances in our surroundings that affect flora, fauna, and an ecosystem's natural properties. Discover which daily actions are contributing to this and how you can help!
6 Everyday Actions that Contaminate the Environment

Last update: 07 July, 2021

Environmental contamination refers to the circulation of toxic substances in natural or artificial environments. Through this, ecosystems lose their original characteristics and become unstable environments for the living beings that inhabit them. In this article, we’ll discuss the 6 everyday actions that can contaminate the environment!

This issue can be caused by chemical elements such as acids or insecticides that industries use; physical elements such as noise or human-caused radiation; and biological elements, like an organic waste.

Furthermore, this issue causes global warming; a problem where the temperature of the earth increases, melting the glaciers and damaging food cultivation. Also, it contributes to species becoming extinct and health problems in humans.

Everyday actions that contaminate the environment

Throughout history, human beings have been one of the main causing factors of environmental contamination. This is due to buying harmful products and doing activities that excessively use natural resources.

People include different habits in their daily routine that can cause ecological risks. Often, we do many of these ignorantly and without knowing the consequences.

1. Throwing batteries in the trash

Batteries can take more than 500 years to decompose. Also, they contain metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and chromium.

When we throw batteries away along with the rest of the organic trash, they end up in landfills and contaminate waters and soils. Then, they affect the well-being of the animals, plants, and human beings that use it as a source of hydration.

So, the proper process would be to save all the used batteries in a container that you don’t use for anything else. And then, when it’s full, you should take it to a place where they treat electronic waste.

2. Plastic bottles or bags contaminate the environment

loads of plastic bottles together
Plastic bottles pose a risk to the earth and water sources. In fact, their presence in the oceans is fatal for aquatic wildlife.

In everyday life, we use a lot of plastic. It’s resistant, lightweight, and easy to carry. However, it’s one of the most contaminating elements to the environment.

To make plastic, specialists use a lot of different chemical substances. As a result, the objects contain toxins that contaminate the air quality. Also, plastic isn’t biodegradable, which means it can take at least 150 years to decompose.

In addition to that, the majority of plastic is thrown into seas, oceans, rivers, or just the floor. Consequently, it blocks sewers, alters the properties of water, traps aquatic animals, and sometimes even kills them with toxins.

3. Washing up without turning off the faucet contaminates the environment

Water is essential for the life of all beings and ecosystems. It nurtures plants, is the habitat for multiple animals, regulates temperatures, and is essential for cooking and the restroom.

However, it’s a finite resource, and people don’t seem to be aware of that. Washing or shaving without turning the faucet off is counterproductive for the environment because we then waste gallons of water that we can’t get back.

So, to fight this, we must take suitable steps to only use what’s necessary. When you shower, turn the water off when you soap up, or whilst you clean your teeth, use a glass of water.

4. Throwing cigarette butts on the floor contaminate the environment

Cigarette butts contain chemical substances like lead, which contaminate the gallons of water they come into contact with.

The filters contain cellulose acetate. This is a plastic that takes a while to disintegrate and can affect the air because it releases nicotine, arsenic, and cadmium.

Additionally, cigarette butts can fall into water sources. Fish may subsequently consume them and die. Because of this, we recommend you dispose of them in designated earthenware pots.

5. Using aerosol deodorants

Aerosols contain volatile organic compounds – some chemical substances that convert to gases and accumulate in the lowest layer of the atmosphere.

So, you should avoid spray-on deodorants because every use releases carbon dioxide, sulfur, and nitrogen, which affects the air quality.

6. Throwing disposable towels down the toilet

Contrastingly to toilet paper, disposable towels don’t break up when you throw them down the toilet. Because of that they lump together with other waste and cause blockages that contaminate underground water sources.

Advice to reduce our impact on the environment

There are several easy ways that we can instill in our homes to reduce our environmental impact. Through these, we can conserve natural resources, balance our surrounding environments, and improve the quality of life for living beings.

Below, we detail 4 activities that you can do to help care for the environment.

1. Use cotton reusable bags

One of the main objectives is to reduce the amount of plastic we use as much as possible. For that reason, we recommend that you use cotton bags when shopping at the supermarket or to carry your personal items.

2. Recycle your dishwasher water

Water is one of the most important resources, but it’s also the one we treat the worst. When it goes down the drain, there’s no way to get it back. However, when you wash you can use containers that collect the used water.

With recycled water from the dishwasher, you can fill your toilet cistern(s), or water your plants without needing to turn on the faucet.

3. Recycle your trash

Properly separating your household waste can help you to identify the products that you can reuse, therefore, it prevents overproduction of products.

Working together to ensure that companies don’t produce new products at an accelerated rate is key to reducing the exploitation of our natural resources. Moreover, recycling gives landfills a break and we’re able to alleviate toxic gas emissions.

woman holding a recycling box
Separating your waste is something that all households should do to reduce the amount of waste that’s no longer useful.

4. Don’t drop your trash on the street

Dropping your trash on the street can affect the properties of the soil and contaminate it due to the substances it contains. In addition, if they reach hydration sources, they can disturb the lives of the specials that develop in that habitat.

Evaluate your actions to avoid contaminating our environment

People must understand the origin, components, and impact of each product that they want to own. This way, we can avoid buying objects that aren’t that friendly to the environment.

Overall, we human beings must always evaluate the consequences of each one of our actions and act with environmental consciousness so we don’t contaminate the environment.

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