9 Morning Habits That Are Bad For The Environment — And How To Change Them

If you've ever breathed in the majesty of a mountain, felt like a speck in the great beyond while staring up at a Redwood, or at least watched an episode of Planet Earth, you know firsthand that Earth is a pretty cool place. Don't contribute to its ruin. Unfortunately there are some common morning habits that are ruining the environment, one tap of running water at a time — and considering Earth Day is on Apr. 22, it's important we all consider these bad habits and work to change them so we can keep Earth a safe, beautiful place for generations to come. Don't worry, this isn't the mother of Mother Earth guilt trips. This is simply a friendly reminder that there are ways to adapt your morning routine to being more eco-savvy.

If you're wondering why it's still winter in April in many states across the U.S., that's because of global warming. Temperatures are rising in the summers, dropping in the winters, and unpredictable, strong storms are becoming more and more common around the world. Because of this, large parts of New York City could be underwater by 2100, according to some scientists — and that's if the sea levels rise a mere six feet! According to NASA's Global Climate Change, sea levels have "rose about eight inches in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century." Pause to inhale.

Now exhale and know that you can slow this process by tweaking your regular morning habits. Do it for the polar bears, for the sea turtles, for literally everyone and everything sharing Earth. Impact can be as simple as turning off the running water as you brush your teeth. Adopting sustainable and green methods at home can make a difference. Wake up on the right side of the bed and planet.

Long Morning Showers

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It's nice to wake up to a waterfall of water spouting from the shower head. But alas, lingering in the shower is not great. The world is experiencing a water crises, for starters. Try turning off the shower while you lather up and back on to rinse off.

Tossing Food

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Wait! Before you chuck the banana peel in the garbage, think about composting it instead. You can set up a compost even if you're a city dweller with a small apartment. It'll help curb the 31 percent of food scraps that's reported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to go to waste.

Driving To Work

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If you can, carpool. Otherwise consider mass transit or even riding a bike to work. The ozone layer will thank you.

Packing Lunch In Plastic

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It's so easy to wrap your turkey sandwich in cling wrap, but it's stuffing up the landfill with plastic and polluting our oceans. Consider a reusable eco lunch box to tote your sandwich to work! This way you want to have an early morning tango with the stubborn, sticky cling wrap.

Leaving The Lights On

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Don't forget to turn off all the lights before heading out for the day! Wasting energy on a room with nobody in it when natural sunlight is flooding in anyways is ... wasteful.

Keeping Your Chargers Plugged In

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It might seem harmless to keep your phone charger plugged into the wall but it does consume energy. It might be a fraction of leaving the lights on, but it does matter. So unplug your chargers from the wall after they've loaded up your phone overnight!

Grabbing A Plastic Water Bottle

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It's an easy grab and go, but plastic is a major no-no. Get a refillable water bottle instead!

Leaving The Water On As You Brush Your Teeth

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It happens. We've all been there. You might daze off while the water runs and runs ... and runs. But that water is precious. As you brush, turn the faucet off only to turn it back on when it's time to rinse.

Using Paper Towels

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Grabbing for a paper towel? Halt! Use a cloth napkin instead. Chances are you're not making that big of a mess over breakfast. You don't need to waste paper products that can't be recycled on a spot of spilt milk.