4 Ways You’re Hurting the Environment Without Realizing It

Apr 8, 2014 by

By Hailey Robinson


It’s a noble pursuit to be as environmentally friendly as possible, but there are a lot of not-so-green behaviors that fly under the radar of our modern lives. Though you may have ditched styrofoam ages ago, switched to a fuel-saving hybrid car, and even started composting your food and yard waste, there may be a lot of ways you’re negatively impacting the environment without even knowing it. Take a closer look at your lifestyle to see if you have some of the following bad habits of environmental unsustainability and how you can avoid them.

Plastic Bags

plastic-bag-reef-hawaii-537x442So you reduce and reuse your plastic shopping bags, but that’s only a small step toward ending the harm those materials do to the environment. Even recycling these bags can be a hassle as not all types of plastic film are recyclable, and those that are tend to be difficult to recycle when they’re dirty. It’s a far better option to ditch plastic bags altogether and use fabric bags instead. A good bag made out of canvas or other eco-friendly material will last for years and produce zero trash.

Home Energy Consumption

Energy Efficiency : Insulation products at a Green Energy centre in Kendal Cumbria, UK.Homes and commercial properties are some of the top consumers of energy and water, but people don’t often think about how much demand their homes are putting on the local power grid. Even mindful practices like turning off lights when you’re not in the room and being careful about water use won’t address some of the biggest energy-wasters on the property. The number one culprit is poor insulation. Having insufficient insulation in the walls and improper seals on doors and windows results in as much as 30 percent energy lost over the course of the day. In practical terms, this means that you’ll be using more electricity to heat and cool your home.

Bad Lawn Care

pubs-weedsWhen you’re approaching the health and maintenance of your lawn, try to imagine that it’s like your own body. When it comes to food and medicine, more isn’t always better. In fact, if you over-fertilize your lawn and apply an excessive amount of pest control substances, the grass and flowers won’t benefit from the extra attention, but your local water will suffer. Like having too much food on your plate, lawns just don’t consume more fertilizer than they need, while pest control products don’t last longer if you use more than instructed. Instead, these chemicals leach into ground water and wash off into drains. This is also true for most traditional water softening systems. They use sodium to filter out hard minerals, which just ends up putting more sodium into your lawn, drains and even diet. Following instructions on fertilizer and pest control products and looking into salt free systems for softening will go a long way to making your lawn eco-friendly.

Food Sourcing

Food and Farm-Drought-Small FarmsSometimes it’s the things you don’t do that end up hurting the environment. Case in point: not researching where your food comes from. Massive factory farms, especially those that raise meat and fish, dump an incredible amount of waste into the ground and water, plus they often have poor records regarding animal treatment. Instead of eating foods produced by factory farms, fish farms and meat producers who manage millions of livestock look into small, local producers. They’re far more likely to be organic, ethical, and sustainable. As a bonus, you’ll be putting money into your local economy and encouraging more people to switch to sustainably farmed goods. If you want to go the extra mile, consider producing some of your own food at home. It’s easy to grow produce like zucchini and tomatoes, and you can graduate up to a small group of chickens for your own farm-fresh eggs if you have a little yard space.


If you’re serious about living sustainably, you need to look a little deeper than just the most common and obvious ways to reduce your environmental footprint. Being mindful of what you use, how you use it, and what passive elements of consumption are in your life will tackle to hidden culprits of environmentally unfriendly lifestyles.



Hailey is a recent graduate with a degree in Journalism. Now that she isn’t face first in books she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.


  1. So you reduce and reuse your plastic shopping bags, please visit this site Plastic Bags

  2. Really a great post. Worth reading. Thanks for sharing. To save our environment we manufacture Eco-Friendly Non Woven Bags.

Leave a Reply to indresh101 Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *