1) Frequent or long car rides. Cars are responsible for about 300,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide emitted it into the atmosphere each year. And that’s in the United States alone! Cars and similar methods of transportation are responsible for more than one third of the atmosphere’s pollutants and carbon dioxide. These greenhouse gases are a huge contributor to global warming, as they get trapped in the atmosphere and prevent the sun’s heat energy from escaping, thus over-heating the Earth’s surface.
2) Computers and PCs. Although computers can help us understand the environment in a more efficient way, the computer’s production and end-of-life process both involve potentially harmful toxins and trace metals. It is also highly difficult to recycle a broken or unused computer or PC, as they contain loads of plastic.
3) Over-using the air conditioner. As global warming increases, more people are attempting to use air-conditioners to keep themselves cool. This is actually a vicious cycle, as air-conditioners release carbon dioxide into the air. Also found in car emissions, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps the sun’s heat energy and prevents it from escaping Earth’s surface. Most air conditioners also run off of electricity, most of which is generated in a coal-powered plant.
4) Incandescent light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs in the home produce heat in order to create light. All of this heat is actually wasted electricity. On the other hand, energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs use the flow of electrons reacting with mercury vapor, which create ultra-violet photons that react off the phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb, to create sufficient light.
5) Pesticides and fertilizer. It’s common knowledge that fertilizers and pesticides are highly toxic and full of chemicals. If not applied properly or overly-so during the rainy season, it can run off and harm waterways, ecosystems, other plants, and animals.
6) The television. Televisions use around 80 to 400 Watts of electricity; about 5% of a person’s total electrical bill. It may not seem like much at first glance, but those numbers can quickly add up.
7) Leaving the lights on. Incandescent light bulbs are inefficient when it comes to saving energy. Only about 10 to 15% of the electricity used is converted into light, the rest is useless heat energy. Not only does leaving the lights on waste electricity, but it can also make a room swelter.
8) Leaving the cell phone charger plugged in. Ninety-five percent of the energy used when charging a phone is wasted; only about 5% of it is used to actually charge the phone’s battery. Even if your phone is off, but the charger’s plugged in, electricity (and money!) is still being wasted.
9) Disposing of plastics. Plastic is non-biodegradable, which means it never breaks down when sitting in a landfill. Recycling is the only option for putting trashed plastic to good use, as even incinerating it releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.
10) Mowing the lawn. Lawn mowers are responsible for 5% of urban air pollution, due to the emissions their small gas tanks let out. They spew nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, as well as other harmful chemicals and toxins.
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