All of us have tried to adopt environmentally sustainable practices into our daily lives. From using cloth bags for our shopping, carrying a reusable bottle instead of buying a disposable one or making sure we segregate our trash into recyclable and non-recyclable. Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we? There are many products that we use that indirectly harm the environment. We’re all responsible for buying these seemingly innocent products, but maybe it’s time to take one step further towards a cleaner and greener planet
The one thing every dermatologist recommends. No beach day is complete without sun protection before a nice dip in the water. Sunscreen has been found to have major effects on marine flora and fauna. Studies have found that an ingredient in sunscreen called “Oxybenzone” is one of the major reasons for coral bleaching around the world. As little as one drop of sunscreen is enough to damage a fragile coral reef system!
Finding an alternative is relatively easy as a lot of companies have started producing ecofriendly sunscreen. Before buying a bottle, check the ingredients to make sure it’s a mineral sunscreen which is also UV resistant.
Usually found in body washes and face scrubs, microbeads are tiny balls of plastic that help to exfoliate and clean your skin. However, these small beads, once washed of, end up polluting our seas and oceans as their size prevents them from being filtered. To fish and other small marine life, these beads look like food and they are eaten, moving up the food chain and poisoning various aquatic life. Since many species cannot break down plastic, they may even end up in your food!
An environmentally friendly alternative to microbeads is ground coffee or walnut, which are not only bio-degradable, but also possess anti-oxidizing properties which give your skin a brighter, more youthful complexion. A perfect pick-me-up for your skin care routine.
Palm oil is in EVERYTHING! It’s present in products ranging from cookies and chocolate to detergent and biodiesel because of its versatility and cheap cost.
Found in the same areas as tropical rainforests, palm oil plantations have led to the uncontrolled clearing of these lands and are the root cause of deforestation. Palm oil production is linked to the destruction of habitats of endangered species like orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers. Several indigenous people have also been displaced due to these land grabs.
After reading this you’re probably looking at your bar of chocolate suspiciously. It’s impossible to completely stop the extraction of palm oil because of its utility and the millions of jobs it creates but there are some things we can all do. Before buying, let’s check the ingredients on the packaging or research the product you’re looking to purchase. The good news is there are several brands adopting sustainable methods of palm oil extraction like Pepsi Co., Colgate, and Kellogg’s.
Let’s save our environment now so we don’t have to pay later.
The cooler, better smelling sibling to the traditional tissue, wet wipes are extremely versatile and can be thrown into any bag and carried around for quick use. But they come with some significant drawbacks to the environment. Many wet wipe brands include plastic to improve the sturdiness of the wipe but that also causes them to never break down completely. Over time, they transform into micro plastics which are a big threat to marine life if they end up being dumped in the water.
Shifting to an eco-friendly solution may seem hard, especially for parents, but there are quite a few options. There are several brands that have started making pure cotton wipes that are completely biodegradable, reducing the waste created. But maybe try opting for reusable alternatives whenever you can as no waste is better than less waste.
This nifty little bottle has helped in many a situation where washing your hands would have been a huge pain. And of course it smells great too. However, sanitisers have a pretty big con to all the pros. According to a scientific study, antibacterial sanitisers have been found to improve antibiotic resistance in bacteria and weaken your immune system to infections. They also have a big carbon footprint as the plastic bottles they are packaged in are only for one time use and are not biodegradable.
An easy alternative to sanitisers is good old soap and water as it is the most thorough in cleaning your hands. But in a pinch, using paper soap is also acceptable as they are biodegradable and do not contain any harmful chemicals.