Are we fully aware of the impact of everything we do throughout the day? Some acquired habits, some actions that we carry out almost mechanically or without realizing it, have a certain environmental impact that, although relatively low, multiplied by the millions of people who inhabit the planet, its consequences acquire truly enormous dimensions.

It is difficult to enumerate each and every one of the daily actions that we carry out every day and that can have a greater environmental impact: each house is a world and each one’s habits are very different from each other.

However, we can choose 5 of the most common actions to illustrate how we pollute the environment without realizing it and, in this way, become aware of the consequences of our own actions. 

This is the first step towards taking measures that will contribute to improving the world we share, measures that in some cases may seem insignificant but which, in practice and without much effort on our part, substantially improve a natural environment that well deserves all possible attention.

We invite you to review 5 examples of daily actions that harm the environment, as well as their respective measures to prevent them. Take note:

1. Wrapping and Packaging

More and more people are becoming aware of the importance of recycling. However, there is still a long way to go, and sometimes we find it difficult to know how to properly recycle some products such as medicines, light bulbs, mobile phones, plastics … even recycling, we also pollute!

Measure: The best recycling is the one that should not be done. So when you buy, try to buy products in bulk (whenever possible), or with environmentally friendly packaging; reduce the volume of waste you generate, and make sure everyone in your family knows how to recycle correctly. 

2. Eat Melons and Watermelons in Summer and Oranges in Winter…

In relation to the above, we can add that the consumption of certain products instead of others damages the environment to a greater extent. For example, in food, which represents a good part of our daily consumption, fruit and vegetables out of season (produced in greenhouses, or from very distant places obtained and transported without ecological guarantees), genetically modified food or the abuse of meat and fish are some of the bad habits that show how we pollute the environment without realizing it, and that we can correct in a simple and effortless way. Here’s a list that shows seasonal produce.

Measure: You can be more responsible with your daily consumption by consuming local products, purchasing them directly from producers or in alliance with other consumers: consumer cooperatives are a comfortable, simple and environmentally friendly option. You can also buy in fair trade shops, where they guarantee the origin of all their products, made with respect for the environment and the dignity of the people who produce them. 

3. Waiting for Hot Water in the Shower

Water is a natural resource that is as necessary as it is limited. It is estimated that in Spain, per person per day, we consume around 150 liters of water (according to INE data for 2013). A 15-minute shower, for example, represents the consumption of more than 60 liters and washing of hands, dishes, etc. for a minute requires almost 4 liters of water. 

Measure: In addition to turning off the tap while soaping or brushing our teeth, in the shower, we can save between 5 and 10 litres of water if, for example, while waiting for hot water to come out, we take advantage of the rest of the cold water to fill the bucket to scrub the floors or the shower if we have plants at home.

4. Don’t Use Incandescent Bulbs

It is not only an environmental concern that should lead us to take more into account the consumption of light in our home. The constant rise in the price of electricity is in itself sufficient reason to control our domestic spending, and that in environmental terms can translate into a reduction of dirty energy sources (nuclear, thermal …).

If we also add that most households still use incandescent light bulbs (which are no longer produced in the EU, following an environmental regulation approved in recent years), the extra electricity we consume without realizing it multiplies exponentially.

Measure: Trying to keep only the necessary lights on, replacing traditional or incandescent bulbs with energy-saving bulbs or LEDs, disconnecting household appliances that we are not using or using plugs with a general on/off button can save up to 20% on our electricity bill, with the environmental benefits of this saving!

5. Using Friendly Cleaning Products

Most industrial cleaning products are made from potentially toxic products, and some are even highly polluting. To avoid them, read carefully the composition of the products you buy or, if you like, we suggest that you make them in your own home with completely natural components. Here are some examples of completely biodegradable and homemade cleaning products:

  • Softener: In addition to being environmentally friendly, homemade softener made simply with vinegar (half a liter), water (1 liter) and baking soda (a couple of tablespoons) will save you a few dollars, which always come in handy!
  • Silver cleaner: Chemical products for cleaning cutlery or other silver objects are usually highly toxic and abrasive, but you can replace them with a simple banana skin: rubbing their inner side against silver objects will clean them and make them shine like never before.
  • Wooden restorers: The putties to cover scratches and knocks on wooden furniture can be replaced with shelled nuts: if you rub them on the scratches, you will see how in a few minutes they disappear without having to use abrasive products of any kind.

Other Tips to Reduce Pollution

In addition to the measures we have explained in the previous section to combat those actions with which we pollute the environment without realizing it, you can also put into practice other habits in your day to day activities.

  • Reduce your consumption of plastic bags. It is not enough that you have to pay for them in supermarkets and shops. The best option is to recycle them, reuse them, or simply look for baskets or bags made of another material.
  • Use energy-saving light bulbs at home and in your everyday spaces. Remember that producing the electricity we consume is a process that leaves a noticeable mark on the environment.
  • Build an urban garden at home and try growing your own fruits or products. The idea is not that you become a large-scale producer (or at least not in the beginning), but that you are aware of natural cycles, local production, and the care of resources. Below is a video that explains how to build your own garden.
Urban Gardening: How to Build a Raised bed and Hoop House

Reducing Environmental Pollution: An Impossible Task?

Almost any human activity has repercussions on the environment, so reducing our ecological impact to zero is an impossible task.

Try to minimize it to the extent of our possibilities, becoming aware of the consequences of our actions and trying to change those habits that, with little effort, can significantly improve the conditions of our immediate environmental environment and, in general, of the planet.

Keep in mind one thing: although the measures we have talked about in this post are every day and by themselves do not suppose any relevance, multiplied by a thousand or hundreds of thousands of times they yield a positive effect of unimaginable proportions.

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