You probably think you know the many ways to reduce your carbon footprint, like turning the lights off, walking instead of driving, and using reusable bags at the grocery store. But there are probably many things you do on a daily basis that you don’t realize are hurting. 

 Antibacterial Soap

We hope you aren’t still using antibacterial soaps, as they’re not only said to be a significant factor in the rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” but they’re bad for the environment too. The chemical triclosan, which is the active ingredient in most antibacterial soaps, has been found to create dioxin when exposed to sunlight and chloroform, and continues to build up in the environment. It’s been detected after treatment at sewage plants, and surveys by the United States Geological Service have frequently discovered it in streams and other bodies of water. Once in the environment, it can disrupt algae’s ability to perform photosynthesis.

Researchers out of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that after flushing antibacterial products down the drain, about 75 perfect of triclosan and triclocarbon compounds survive treatment at sewage plants. They end up in waterways, in sludge spread on agricultural fields, and possibly on produce too.

You’re Using Chemical-Filled Household Cleaning Products

Chemicals in household cleaning products also harm the environment in many different ways, whether they’re released into the air when used or poured into the drain, seeping into the water system. This hurts both our indoor and outdoor air, contributing to air as well as water pollution, and has toxic and reproductive effects on aquatic species in addition to adversely affecting the water we drink, contributing to climate change and damaging precious ecosystems.

This negative impact can occur at many points throughout a product’s lifecycle, from extracting the raw materials and manufacturing to packaging, distribution, product usage, and disposal.

 You Leave Your Computer Monitor On

Many people believe the myth that it’s better to leave your computer monitor on standby mode rather than to turn it off and on every day. But  that you should turn your monitor off completely if you’re going to be away from it for more than 20 minutes.

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