The Top Ten Products That Impacts the Environment and Contributes to Climate Change
By: Jey Yan & Jon Sigurdson
Climate change is perhaps a very relatable concept to us nowadays, seeing as we are witnessing firsthand the many environmental consequences because of it, including retreating glaciers, increased global temperature, and rising sea levels.
We might ask ourselves, how exactly did climate change come about? Well, there are various reasons why our environment is changing so drastically! Today, we are going to take a look at one facet of it, mainly the products that we manufacture, purchase and use.
Today’s blog post seeks to take a look at the top ten products that contribute to climate change and how it potentially threatens the destruction of our environment and planet.
1. Plastic Bags
This is arguably one of the most common items we use that damages the environment and contributes to climate change. Plastic bags offer so much convenience. Not only are they lightweight; but also durable, and to an extent; weather-proof.
They are made out of one of the most harmful materials to planet Earth: plastic. The reason why plastics are so harmful to the environment is due to the fact that they are not biodegradable, or non-biodegradable…NOT ECO-FRIENDLY. What this means is that they are unable to broken down and processed by micro-organisms.
This causes plastics to accumulate and pile up as they are unable to be broken down naturally. Then, when it reaches a certain quantity, it can block drainage, cause pollutions on both land and water, and without a doubt damage wildlife sanctuaries and natural habitats.
Furthermore, if we take this issue and zoom it out at a global-scale, it is unsurprising to find that our ecosystems around the world have been damaged and destroyed by plastics at large, killing both flora environments and fauna alike.
However, despite having this information, statistics published clearly indicates that we are still mass-producing plastics, knowing that there are still demands within the global market, and knowing that this toxic material is a danger to Mother Earth.
Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years.National Geographic 
2. Disposable Chopsticks
Ever had Oriental takeout? If you have, chances are that you have used a pair of disposable chopstick’s and contributed to climate change.
The reason why these chopsticks are so damaging to the environment is linked to its materials: wood.
To make a pair of disposable chopsticks you’ll need to obtain wood, which means, you’ll need to chop down some trees. So, what happens when you want to make manufactured disposable chopstick’s at a wide-scale? You chop down A LOT of trees.
To put it in perspective, major disposable chopstick manufacturers chop down and harvest 20 million trees a year. That’s more trees than the the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, EVERY SINGLE YEAR. And if there are hundreds and thousands of other manufacturers out there, how many trees will have been chopped down to make chopsticks?
Statistics demonstrate that, on average, China has manufactured roughly 80 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks alone…YIKES.
80 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks would mean ten pairs for each person around the world.
3. Wet Wipes
I’m sure everybody reading this has used wet wipes at least once in their lifetime. I mean, who wouldn’t? Not only are they easier to clean with, but they also often smell great.
As wet wipes are designed to be wet and hold in moisture for an extended period of time, it is manufactured with a certain type of plastic with paper and other materials. This results in wet wipes being non-biodegradable, or once again NOT ECO-FRIENDLY!
With wet wipes being non-biodegradable, it eventually clogs drainage and accumulates in bodies of water such as the sea, oceans, rivers, and lakes. Worst of all, innocent wildlife may often mistake it for food and consume it without knowing it can kill them.
4. Coffee Capsules & Keurig Pods
Companies such as Illy, Nespresso, & Keurig have introduced a brand-new way of making a cup of coffee quick and easy with major side effects to our beautiful planet.
These companies have created a ridiculously cheap machinery that you can use to make yourself a hot cup of coffee. The catch is, that this said machine is only compatible with the specific type of coffee capsules only they produce.
Once you have one of these coffee makers, the only option to put it to use is by purchasing compatible coffee pods. Contributing companies that supply coffee for these pods include – Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, McDonalds, Nestle & more.
Where does climate change come into play you ask? Well, you’ve probably already guessed it, but for those of you who haven’t figured it out yet: these coffee pods cannot be recycled. They are left to be thrown in the garbage going to a landfill where they will never biodegrade. Once again this product is NOT ECO-FRIENDLY. Every time you decide to use a Keurig machine you are contributing to pollution and playing a part in the destruction of our planet.
5. Disposable Batteries
It is without a doubt that batteries can be considered one of the most essential items on this list that we use on the daily.
Even though that may be true, this does not change the fact that it is still one of the most harmful products to the environment.
With toxic substances and compounds such as, cadmium, lead and mercury, batteries pose a huge threat to the environment and wildlife if they are not disposed of in the correct way.
For example, if batteries are burnt or come into contact with high temperature, the toxic substances they contain will spread through the air and potentially cause health complications to any living organism around it.
One way you can avoid the usage of disposable batteries is to look for rechargeable items that have a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. You can also find out the nearest battery-disposable recycling center and drop off all used batteries in order to ensure that they are properly disposed of. Need I say it again? This item, is NOT ECO FRIENDLY, but worry no more as there are solutions to ensure that if you want to make a change, you can.
6. Disposable Razors
Razors are also products that are essential to our everyday lives but are also extremely harmful to the environment.
The reason why razors are so harmful is due to the composition of highly-concentrated steel and plastic. When disposed of it causes plastic pollution, thrown to the garbage and sent to a landfill where it spends the rest of eternity to never biodegrade. You guessed it… this item is not a friend to our ecosystem and should be never used again!
An estimate of 2,000,000,000 disposable razors are thrown out in the United States of America each year.
The Environmental Protection Agency once estimated that 2 billion razors and refill blades get tossed out in the U.S. each yearU.S.A Today 
7. Disposable Dishwashing Gloves
Another very common household item that has severe impacts on the environment.
Dishwashing gloves are predominantly made out of plastics, latex, and rubber. Depending on what kind of material the gloves are made out of, plastic cannot biodegrade. Latex and rubber gloves will eventually biodegrade but it can take up to 200 years for the materials to break down. However, due to the durability and economically-viable price tag, it isn’t surprising to find out that they are still being largely produced and sold world-wide.
The pollution from this product begins the minute it is thrown in the trash, Sent to the landfill for us to inevitably forget about the fact that the plastic will never biodegrade with 200 years of sitting at the dump for the latex and rubber gloves all because we didn’t want to get our hands wet to do some dishes.. Ridiculous, am I right?
8. Scented Candles
These are absolutely perfect for a relaxing hot bath, you’re favorite novel and a glass of your preferred beverage. Though extremely relaxing and therapeutic, they often have severely impactful environmental drawbacks.
For instance, once you light up a scented candle, it may begin releasing harmful toxins into the environment such as carbon dioxide. The release of carbon dioxide can also be know as the green house effect. Furthermore, the ingredients that most manufacturers use to make these scented candles contain nasty toxins, not suitable for human and animal air intake.
In the long run, these scented candles are capable of contributing to increased air pollution and global warming. In order to curb these environmental impacts, you may consider switching to a more environmentally-friendly candle, such as those made out of beeswax or other non-toxic waxes. I hate to be the barer of bad news but unfortunately, These lovely smelling objects are not our friends.
9. Hand Soap
Now, this might be a surprising one, but yes, hand soaps are actually pretty harmful to the environment. Let me tell you why.
One of the most common ingredients that many major manufacturers use to produce hand soap is triclosan – a chemical substance that is linked with life-threatening diseases most harmful to female gender, Though male gender is susceptible to Breast Cancer, triclosan can cause both breast and Ovarian Cancers to the human body.
In addition, triclosan spreads through water and is able to stay active for up to 10 days. This chemical when leaked into the ocean, lakes, or any body of water has the potential to be consumed by the aquatic and land wildlife. Triclosan can damage their health severely and even lead these animals to their death. So, once again folks, any soap containing this chemical is, yep you guessed it.. NOT OUR FRIEND & NOT ECO-FRIENDLY! Be sure to check the labels before you purchase your favorite bottle or bar of hand soap.
You’re probably thinking that toothpaste should be one of the most harmless products that we use on a regular basis since we actually put it inside our mouths to brush our teeth.
Well, jokes on us. Toothpaste in fact contains small quantities of plastics known as microbeads. On average, statistics have demonstrated that microbeads are one of the major contributors to the net amount of plastics around the world currently.
The scariest thing about microbeads is that it is what its name implies, micro. So, you can’t actually clean it up as you would with other different plastics such as plastic bags or gloves. This leads to its prevalence in all the bodies of water around the world that causes much harm to our environment and aquatic wildlife. Not to mention the fluoride most of us already know of. Chronic fluorosis is a widespread disease-related to the ingestion of high levels of fluoride through water and food. Prolonged ingestion of fluoride adversely affects the teeth, bones and other organs and alters their anatomy and physiology. This can be extremely deadly as it 100% will shorten your life span. Be sure to pick up some toothpaste that is free of fluoride, or try your best not to swallow the stuff!
Thank you everyone for taking your time to read this write up. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
The top ten products that contribute to climate change include:
- Plastic Bags
- Wet Wipes
- Disposable Chopsticks
- Coffee Capsules
- Disposable Batteries
- Disposable Razors
- Disposable Dishwashing Gloves
- Scented Candles
- Hand Soap