The Environment – How To Do Your Bit To Save It

There are things even you can do to save the environment and hey may surprise you.

OK, so you might consider yourself eco-conscious and a friend to the environment after that one time you remembered to recycle something and convinced the squad to participate in Earth Hour.

The truth is, there’s a lot more we need to do if we don’t want to end up facing an environmental Armageddon in the coming decades.

Here are six things you probably can’t live without that you should reconsider as they are damaging the environment:

Your sun protection routine

Life seems like a cruel joke. We all love a chill day at Bondi Beach, but truth is, according to a 2008 study, four common chemicals found in sunscreens are contributing to coral bleaching, especially when tonnes of it are washing into the oceans each year.

So, you still need to protect your skin. We suggest using water-resistant and biodegradable sunscreens to prevent even more damage to our oceans. If there’s even any hope left for the Great Barrier Reef…

Your skincare routine

Repeat after me: the microbeads in your skincare and beauty products (Clean & Clear, Bioré, Clearasil and Neutrogena are guilty) do more harm than good. Even if they’re great at exfoliating all your dead skin cells.

These tiny pieces of plastic have officially been deemed an environmental risk by experts and banned across the globe (UK, some U.S. states & New Zealand). Including your local Coles and Woolies.

Why, you ask? These pesky little things find their way into our oceans as they are so small they can’t be filtered out. They are then swallowed by fish, which disrupts the food chain, putting other animals and humans at risk.

Your obsession with glitter

OK, so you could definitely live without glitter, which is – news flash – just as bad as microbeads as it’s essentially tiny pieces of plastic.

This stuff never breaks down, nor can it be recycled, so it pretty much screws up the environment and the delicate food chain.

When 8 million tonnes of plastic are creeping into our oceans the same way an awkward Tinder date slides into your DMs, we have a serious problem.

Your coffee addiction

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the things you carry your coffee in? Yeah, those disposable cups contain plastics that can’t be recycled and are either ending up in landfills or polluting the environment.

Australians are guilty of using 1 billion disposable cups a year, which are the second-largest contributors to litter waste after plastic bottles.

So, you can’t bear to kick your caffeine habit; some solutions to this are avoiding takeaway cups, especially the plastic lids, or bringing your own reusable cup.

Remember: every bit of plastic ever made still exists today.

Your over-reliance on technology

We love our smartphones, but they don’t exactly love Mother Nature. When we don’t dispose of them properly (ahem, recycle them please), they end up being one of millions ending up in landfills each year. Because they contain toxic contaminants like lead and mercury, this also puts us at risk, as they end up in our food and water sources.

You should also reconsider charging your electronic devices overnight as this can use up more energy than needed – not exactly the best for your budget and environmental footprint.

Your fave wardrobe pieces

Jeans are a staple in any wardrobe, but you should be aware of the insane amount of water being used to create a single pair, as the cotton used to make jeans requires at least 6 tonnes of water to grow. And that’s not even taking into account the toxic indigo dye that’s used to make your fave blue jeans…

Globally, water availability and waste is a huge issue, so it might be time to start recycling, donating or repurposing your jeans.

In more news, did you know some of your eco-friendly products might be damaging the environment?

Sylvia Lee


Sylvia is a student journalist who loves travel, lifestyle and politics. Fun fact: she once wrote a story about an evil pencil with plans for world domination in primary school. Sylvia wishes people would stop asking her why she's pescatarian and that she were better at writing about herself in the third person.

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