1. Wet Wipes
They're a common household product that actually causes a lot of trouble in our water systems because most wet wipes are not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to break down. Wet wipes make up more than 90% of sewer blockages and often end up polluting our oceans, causing lasting damage to marine life.
2. Coffee Pods
Coffee machines in the home or workplace have become increasingly popular because of how convenient and mess-free they are. However, the pods used in these coffee machines are actually terrible for the environment. Almost all of them are sent straight to a landfill. Usually made from plastic or aluminum, the process of recycling is tricky and so most people don't bother!
3. Tea Bags
This one may be a shock but Teabags are actually made up of 25% plastic. This makes these tea bags non-biodegradable therefore becoming a major source of pollution in landfills.
4. Disposable Razors
It has been said that plastic razors are the new plastic straw. Cheaply made, most razors are intended for single-use - this leads to a multitude of problems. Difficult to recycle, most disposable razors end up in landfills with no attempt to reduce their environmental impact.
5. Air Fresheners
Air fresheners help keep our homes nice, but a study by the University of California at Berkeley found that when used excessively or in unventilated areas they release toxic levels of pollutants. Having air fresheners around your home shouldn’t make you sick, but you must ensure the area is ventilated to stop the toxic chemicals, such as ethylene-based glycol ethers and paradichlorobenzene, from circulating through the air and adversely impacting your health.
6. Disposable Chopsticks
Disposable bamboo chopsticks are commonplace throughout the world and especially in Asian countries. These single-use utensils are easy to store and easy to keep sanitary, making them an understandable choice for fast-casual and takeaway dining options everywhere. Unfortunately, the amount of wood required to keep up with the demand of billions of pairs of chopsticks every year is wreaking havoc on the environment. The rapid degradation of land quality due to over-planting, pesticide usage, and rapid over-harvesting has begun to impact soil quality and fertility, and emissions from chopstick manufacturing contribute significantly to global industrial emissions. To top it off, chopsticks cannot be readily recycled or reused, and most often are tossed in the trash to be sent to landfills.
7. Scented Candles
For many of us, there is nothing better than lighting a scented candle and settling back for a relaxing bath, but if you care about the environment, you might want to ditch this habit. Scented candles release several toxic byproducts, including greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide when burned. These candles are typically made from paraffin, a petroleum byproduct, meaning your candles also contribute to the oil industry, oil spills, drilling, and so on. To top it off, the chemicals used to create those oh-so-addictive scents may also release harmful chemicals, hazardous both to the environment and people with asthma or compromised respiratory systems.
8. Single-use plastics
From disposable cutlery to drinks bottles, bags, and food wrapping, plastic is everywhere. And, unless it's been burned, every piece ever made still exists somewhere on our planet. It's difficult to eschew all plastic given that so much food comes packaged in it, but small changes such as bringing your own bags to the supermarket, or shopping at local farm shops could make a big difference.