As college students, we often hear about the environment and everything that needs to be done to combat its decline. It’s an unfortunate problem that we all must deal with, both now and in the future. Because we’ll be here longer than the generation before us, it comes down to us to do what we can to slow the environment’s degradation. One simple thing you can do is be more aware of what you throw in the trash. Here are a few common things you should never throw in the garbage.
There’s nothing like the feeling of a brand-new phone or laptop. The only problem is you must figure out what to do with your old one. Electronic waste is particularly harmful to the environment as it contains dangerous metals, such as cadmium and lead, that can seep into the ground as they degrade. Make sure you search for your nearest electronic waste disposal site; almost every community has at least one.
Fluorescent Light Bulbs
As strange as it may seem, fluorescent light bulbs are very dangerous to throw away. You’ll probably encounter these in your dorm room or first apartment. While they don’t go out often, take them to a hazardous waste disposal site if you do need to get rid of them. Fluorescent light bulbs can contain harmful mercury that shouldn’t be left to the normal trash pile.
Did you know that the fashion industry is one of the leading causes of pollution in the world? It’s because people go through clothes so quickly and it takes a lot of water to make clothing. Synthetic fibers end up in landfills where they don’t break down. There’s plenty of better options such as upcycling or donating your old clothes to better help the environment.
Whether college is the first time you’ve had to take care of a car or not, motor oil is one of the worst things to throw in the garbage for the environment. Not only is it extremely flammable, but motor oil also poses the risk of seeping into soil and water supplies. You can easily dispose of motor oil by bringing it to a nearby auto repair shop or a hazardous waste facility.
It should go without saying, but the chemicals in your prescription medications aren’t good for the environment, no matter how good they might be for you. When introduced into the water supply by throwing them away or flushing them down the toilet, prescription medications distribute harmful chemicals into the water. Any pharmacy can help you properly dispose of your old medications once you no longer need them.