Household Products You Own That are Destroying the Planet

It feels like a big task and it’s overwhelming because there are about 7 billion people on this Earth and you feel like your efforts are not worth it. I want to tell you that if you’re having those thoughts, so are 7 billion other people and therefore nothing will ever be changed if it didn’t start with one person. With that being said, you are not too small, and the small things you do every day will add up and make a global impact.

Plastic bags in our oceans

We know the big picture, that landfills are piling up and climate change is getting worse. The biggest contributors like transportation and agriculture can feel very out of reach, but in this article, we will focus on the daily household items that we habitually use without even thinking about the waste or environmental impact. One percent better every day is better than zero.

Why You Should Always Consider Eco-Friendly Products

Eco-friendly is safe. Consciously purchasing things that are good for the environment creates a safe place to live, and preserves Earth for generations to come.

In 2018, Americans threw out 292 million tons of of waste. That’s a lot of trash to be sitting somewhere rotting and polluting the Earth. Trash that gets piled on top of each other without the right balance will create greenhouse gases that are harmful to the environment. Trash also gets polluted into our oceans harming marine life.

The state of our ecosystem will decline as plastic and waste get generated faster than they can decompose. Things that are made for our convenience are not convenient for our planet. Supporting local eco-friendly businesses is better than the massive brands that are pumping out products by the second. Brands like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are top polluters for the 4th consecutive year according to Break Free From Plastic.

Living eco-consciously is a lifestyle we can all adapt to reuse more of the things we create. Our goal is to reduce our carbon footprint as much as we can. Reusing also saves a lot of money because you don’t throw things out as often and don’t have to repurchase every time. Throwing something out because it wasn’t expensive or is easily replaceable is the mindset that will down spiral our planet.

Common Household Items That are Harmful to the Environment

This is a list of categories and items that are commonly used in households that have some sort of impact on the environment. Our home is one area we have absolute control over and everything we do and the choices we make will have an effect. We also have a list here for lifestyle changes to reduce your carbon footprint you can also check out in addition to the common household list below.

Single Use Plastics

Plastic Takeout Containers with Cup and Utensils

Anything that you use for one time and then throw away is the worst for the environment. Again, convenience for you is not convenient for the planet. Within our house, we should be able to buy reusable products because we have access to water to clean off. If you’re ordering takeout, don’t ask for utensils or napkins. Think of things that are in your daily routine that you throw in the trash every day.

  • Coffee Filters
  • Plastic coffee cups to carry to work
  • Coffee Pods
  • Napkins and Paper towels
  • Razors
  • Tea Bags

Skincare and Makeup

A Pile of Cotton Swabs

One of the biggest culprits in the household for trash. The industry in itself is a big topic to discuss, but this article is just about bringing awareness. I understand self-care is important, but sometimes less is more. The beauty industry is made to sell. Most girls and some guys have bags full of makeup products, even rooms full. There’s a reason you don’t get a lot of product in them, they’re made for you to repurchase over and over again. Read here about how beauty products affect the environment.

Not saying to eliminate everything completely, but maybe evaluate all your skincare bottles, makeup, and shower bottles, ever heard of solid shampoo? See what you have used and not used recently and really think if it’s worth it.

Also think of the tools, the brushes, the gadgets you bought thinking you were going to use every day. I’m sure you have one or two hair tools you bought to try out and never used again.

  • Microbeads
  • Q tips
  • Cotton balls and pads
  • Skincare Bottles
  • Makeup Items
  • Sunscreens
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Tampons

Cleaning Supplies

Colorful Sponges

Another necessity for hygiene and a good-looking and smelling home. All I want to mention here are things like Swiffer mops that have disposable pads for each use, and disposable cleaning wipes for single use. Do you get the theme? Check out this article for easy tips for Zero Waste Cleaning. Harsh cleaning chemicals can also contribute to air pollution, read here for how to choose non-toxic cleaners.

  • Sponges
  • Bleach
  • Daily Cleaning Solutions
  • Wipes
  • Paper Towels
  • Dryer Sheets


Food Waste, Food in the Trash

I know everyone can relate to this one, and it’s the hardest to avoid since we all need it to survive. I’m not only going to bring up the obvious plastic utensils, and all the unrecyclable packaging, but there’s a bigger issue we need to think about: Food Waste. Agriculture is one of the top greenhouse gas emitters because it takes a lot of energy, space, and time to grow and farm food. That food is only grown in regions and climates that are suitable and then it has to be flown or driven to stores to sell. It has a very high carbon footprint, and the worst part is when we don’t even eat the food. It ends up in the trash contributing even more carbon emissions! In a future post, I’ll talk about ways to prevent food waste.

  • Plastic bags for groceries
  • Food wrapped in plastic or stored in plastic containers

Electricity and Electronics

Electronics, Phone, Tablet and Laptop

Our daily lives are now powered by electronics. We wake up to the alarm clock from our phones, we go to work and spend all day on the computer, and we come home from work to sit in front of the TV all night. Click here to read about the consequences of electricity wastage. It all feels so innocent when we are using them, but the energy that it takes to power them every day is affecting the environment. Air conditioning is the biggest contributor in homes, read here for eco-friendly ways to cool down a room without AC.

  • Refrigerators
  • Dishwashers
  • Laundry Machines
  • Phones, tablets, laptops
  • Lightbulbs
  • Air Conditioning

Clothes and Shoes

A Rack of Clothes

Fast fashion is another huge industry with problems needed to be discussed in a separate post. In short for this post, our fashion industry produces so much waste, the average us consumer throws away 81.5 pounds of clothes every year. Wedding dresses are only worn one time, and other trendy garments are worn less than 10 times. Fashion trends come and go so people are cycling out clothes without recycling.

Recent Posts