Climate change and environmental concerns have become hot topics for discussion. What we do everyday matters, more than we realize. It’s easy to throw our arms up in the air and become pessimistic about the current environmental issues we face; however, there is hope. Conservationist, Jane Goodall and Broadcaster, David Attenborough have both presented their witness statements and although they’ve observed environmental damage from a closer view than the average joe, they are optimistic that environmental damage can still be reversed. It is imperative that it starts with all of us.

“Every single day that we live, we make some impact on the planet. We have a choice as to what kind of impact that is.” — Jane Goodall


But can you really make an impact? 

Yes, because whether you intend to or not, you are always impacting the earth. A good start to becoming more aware of your environmental impact is by observing your daily habits and the products you consume. Let’s look at 10 types of products we use regularly that harm the environment. 


Plastic consumption 

Yes, we’ve all heard this before, but why do we continue to consume so much plastic? Partly because, in many countries, plastic packaging is still used widely, whether that’s in the supermarket, the electronics store, or the clothing store. 

However, countries like Germany, for example, have a new law in place to ban plastic which came into effect in 2022. New York has already banned their use of plastic bags in supermarkets, boutiques, and bodegas since March 2020, but does this cover enough scope? 

It can feel like an impossible task to reduce plastic waste when the retail industry normalizes its use. But starting with a couple of items you use regularly, you can jump-start your journey on consuming less plastic. 

The bottom line is while we don’t have a lot of control over plastic production, given that more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since the 1950s, but we can take some responsibility for plastic waste. Reducing our plastic consumption and using reusable items is doable. It’s the little actions that count. Try making a checklist of all the items you may need regularly so you don’t fall back into the habit of reaching for plastic. 


Disposable products 

Disposable products are items we often use for only a moment before we throw them in the trash. These are known as single-use items: products we only use once. In particular, plastic bags are used for 12 minutes prior disposal, but have an estimated life span of 20 years.  Single-use items are readily available at restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and more. We use them because they are easy to find and convenient for everyday use, but these items can negatively impact the environment for years. A recent study reports that the disposal of single-use plastic items kills over 100,000 marine animals every year, further damages our oceans, or ends up in landfills that can last for up to 1,000 years. Taking inventory of all the items we only use once before we dispose of them can give us a broader perspective of the number of items we throw away that may be a convenience for us in the short-term, but contribute to environmental destruction in the long-term. 


Products with harmful chemicals

It’s already a challenge to limit plastic and single-use items from our homes, but we need to consider the various products we use around the house daily that cause further environmental damage. What’s especially challenging is that these products are easily accessible items we use regularly, and are not only harmful to our planet but can negatively affect our health. 

Environmental health is a core pillar at Holisticly. We understand that not everyone has the budget to purchase eco-friendly alternatives that benefit the environment, but as we’ve seen, we have the means to contribute to the planet’s health to make a more positive impact on the environment.