Because we are living in an avalanche of new items, we have to tolerate products that are downright idiotic.
While some commodities are useful and some charming, others are just full of crap and just ‘stuff’ polluting the world. Vinyl plastic, expensive cosmetics, and paper bags are examples of unnecessary items that use up earth’s resources and spew out pollution.
While we have been heavily reliant on some of these items, the reality is that most of them are a waste and only cause more harm to us and our environment. Is it possible to consume less of these products, so there is less demand for manufacturers to keep producing them? Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.
Obviously, it is almost impossible to have a universe of purely utilitarian objects, but that does not mean we have to consume all the ‘garbage’ that large corporations offer us. The first step towards decluttering is to ensure we can prove the worthiness of each product.
Women, for example, adore beauty products because those commodities make them happier and make them feel good. But those products have little significance to men.
Manufacturers, retailers, and advertisers have been largely responsible for creating an awful need for items that pointless. They are gifted in creating a demand for goods that people do not need. People don’t necessarily need expensive Gucci wallets, multivitamin pills, or bottled water. But these geniuses have somehow made these products part of our everyday life.
They use glamorous commercials that tout their products as being of great quality and having value in our lives. In reality, it is usually just hype.
Unfortunately, these items have managed to stick around for decades because we have been made to believe they are indispensable; rest assured they are not.
These products are just full of crap. Here are 20 of them:
20. PREMIUM PETROL
Petrol heads pay extra for premium unleaded petrol as they believe it is going to make their engines perform better and give them more mileage. Well…that is mostly nonsense.
This expensive high-octane fuel is not going to perform any ‘miracle’ unless you own a supercar. Higher octane does not improve acceleration or mileage. It also does not lead to faster engine startup as most drivers believe; you just need to take good care of your car by changing its oil regularly and tuning it up after a month. In fact, high octane is just a cleaner version of regular petrol. If you need more power for your engine, you probably need to check your electric system and the ignition system.
This type of gasoline was developed as another option for leaded petrol. Its intention was to reduce the knocking sound in engines (mainly because it burns slower). But petroleum companies have managed to convince most car owners that this type of fuel is better.
What you need to do: save your motoring costs by buying regular petrol.
You do not need expensive high octane fuel. Only a handful of vehicles require this premium gasoline. You do not need this fuel if your engine is not producing a knocking sound. It should only be used if it is recommended by the manufacturer.
19. CITRONELLA CANDLES
They are marketed as great mosquito repellents, but they have not lived up to the manufacturer’s claims.
Most people hate blood-thirsty mosquitos that ruin a good night sleep or an outdoor moment. A group of researchers at New Mexico State University performed a high-tech experiment and concluded that these ill-smelling candles are worthless in fighting mosquitos. Citronella candles have not done much in keeping these bloodsuckers away.
But why are so many people buying these candles? Because the internet is awash with misleading information about how to repel these pesky bugs. Unfortunately, most of the false information is surfacing at a time when vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and zika virus disease are a serious threat to humanity.
What you need to do: According to research, the best mosquito repellents are certain special sprays – approved by government bodies – that are used on the body. Some of these products contain picaridin or DEET.
18. CANNED FOOD
The most obvious reason to avoid canned food is that it is less nutritious compared to fresh foods. Medics also claim that these foods have harmful ingredients that can hurt your body.
The procedure was first developed around the 18th century as a way of providing food to soldiers, but today, it has been adapted by some food stores. Most of the canned food include seafood, meats, beans, vegetables, and fruits.
Canning is known to damage some vitamins. The biggest concern is that canned foods may contain traces of BPA, which move from the can lining into the food. This chemical is associated with some health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and male sexual dysfunction. This means that eating canned food in bulk increases exposure to these conditions.
In addition, canned food may also contain bacteria. Clostridium botulinum is a dangerous bacterium that has been found in most canned foods. Some of the canned foods also have excess sugar, which may be harmful to your health.
What you need to do: ask yourself if you need canned food. If you have to, then read the labels and watch out for leaks, dents, or corrosion of the tin – these are not usually good signs. You can make it a habit of draining or rinsing the foods to reduce any excess sugar or salt
17. FRAGRANCE PRODUCTS
The most notable are perfumes, air fresheners, and dryer sheets. They are particularly harmful because they can lead to asthma.
Most fragrance products contain potentially hazardous chemicals; some retrieved from petroleum. The worst thing about these products is that their manufacturers have the right to protect their trade secrets. This means consumers cannot rely on product labels if they are looking to identify their potential risks.
The fact that their ingredients can be kept a secret is extremely scary. According to research, the average fragrance product contains more than ten secret chemicals that are not listed on the label. Some of these chemicals are responsible for allergic reactions and hormone disruption. Some of the chemicals are very dangerous and can accumulate in human tissues.
The ingredients of most fragrance products have been linked to reproductive malformation, low sperm count, and disruption of hormonal activity. They have also been associated with diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
What you need to do: the best thing is to avoid these products. They include colognes, wipes, scented candles, detergents, dryer sheets, baby lotions, and air fresheners. Make it a habit of reading the labels and use natural oils because they are less toxic.
16. ENERGY DRINKS/ SPORTS DRINKS
Most of these overrated drinks maintain they can rehydrate you with essential minerals and electrolytes. But the reality is that they have too many minerals. In fact, a single bottle may contain up to 100 calories, which is equivalent to around seven spoons of sugar. They are also known to have numerous amounts of sodium, which increases the urge to drink them.
These refreshments have been found to be responsible for many obesity cases as a result of the high amounts of calories that they introduce to the body. Sadly, these drinks continue to be endorsed by elite athletes and continue to appeal to the public. It is disheartening, but more people have been made to believe that sports drinks are healthy for their body. Why would you consume a 500ml drink that contains 16-18 grams of sugar?
Some of the biggest brands out there are Powerade, Lucozade, Ribena, and Gatorade. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), sports drinks can only be helpful if you are undertaking an intense exercise that lasts for more than one hour. Most of these sports drinks were originally made for athletes. For example, Gatorade was named after the Gators: University of Florida football team.
15. PLASTIC BAGS
It turns out that plastic bags are among the biggest culprits in environmental pollution. There are heaps and heaps of plastic bags at river banks and in the oceans, and they are a significant threat to marine animals.
Plastics have become part of our daily lives, and it can be difficult to think of completely getting rid of them. But they cause more harm than good: they contain chemicals that are linked to infertility and obesity; they contain endocrine disruptors that can lead to hormone problems and can be more harmful to children.
Sadly, we use and discard more than a trillion plastic bags every year even though we have been made aware that they take 1000 years to degrade; and while deteriorating chemically, they release harmful chemicals.
What you need to do: for the sake of your family and the planet, please consider alternatives like cloth bags that can easily be reused. Stop using plastic bags!
14. BOTTLED WATER
Bottled water companies have convinced us for years that they can harvest streams of crystal clear H2O from some mysterious springs and mythical melting glaciers. They allege that their waters are 100% impurity-free and are impeccably clean. Apparently, these waters also have some special kinds of taste and ions that are good for our bodies. Liars!
It turns out that those springs – and glaciers – are fictional. Most of the water they sell come from local sources and have been sourced from taps and repackaged. Ironically, they claim that water from taps is dirty and undrinkable.
Millions buy bottled water thinking they are free of contaminants, but these bottles sometimes contain millions of germs. They use fancy-looking bottles that depict pastoral scenes, but these bottles have tap water that is being sold back to the masses. As if that were not enough, they use plastic bottles that contribute to more pollution.
What you need to do: do yourself a favor; boil your tap water and store it in reusable stainless steel bottles or water dispensers.
13. DOUCHING PRODUCTS
This is what happens: a woman holds a douche bottle and squirts the solution into her vagina – through a nozzle or hose – in the hope that it will clean the ‘sacred door.’
The decade-long question has been: do women have to douche? The answer is a No.
Medical experts have continuously advised women against douching since their vaginas are naturally capable of self-cleaning.
But women continue to douche because they either lack information or they have it but have chosen to follow trends. In fact, according to researchers, 20-40% of American females, between ages 15-44 years, douche regularly. Around 50% of this number douche weekly.
The vagina is self-cleaning. It is a complicated biological process, but just to break it down: its walls release a mucous substance that carries old cells, menstrual blood and other unwanted matter out.
According to health experts, the vagina also contains bacteria that is helpful in preventing infections. Its acidic environment is crucial in reducing infections. But douching ruins all these natural processes. It flushes out all the ‘important’ bacteria and leaves this sex organ vulnerable.
12. STRETCH MARK CREAMS
Women are the biggest culprits because of pregnancy, teenage growth spurts, or just a little extra weight.
They have been the target market for most stretch mark creams, which boast of having ‘magical’ properties that can make the marks fade or disappear. But the reality is that these creams are useless. In fact, researchers have revealed that very few – or none – can prevent or fix stretch marks.
The marks form when the elastic fiber network in the dermis is disrupted, and this mostly happens when a woman has delivered. According to doctors, nothing is available yet to repair a disrupted elastic fiber, but what can be done is that the marks can be treated, over a long time, using ingredients that strengthen the collagen fibers. Another alternative is aromatherapy.
What you need to do: prevention is a better approach than treatment. Incorporate exercise, proper diet, and regular massages into your lifestyle. Stretch marks are a big deal, and they affect 50-90% of women.
While most people think they are getting rid of dirt from their skin; it turns out that bacteria remain ‘trapped’ in our loofahs.
These spongy pouf balls may be ideal for scrubbing our bodies, mostly because they are great exfoliators and are abrasive. Yes, they can leave our skin smooth and conditioned and probably enhance circulation while promoting our skin’s excretory function.
The problem is that we reuse loofahs and that means we scratch our bodies with yesterday’s bacteria. Some people even go to the extent of sharing this bacteria-harboring product.
They are mostly a disaster because bacterium gets attracted by their moistness and often thrives in their nooks and crannies. Now imagine sharing a loofah with someone who has a skin cut. It only leaves you exposed to an array of bacteria.
What you need to do: since they are a necessary evil, try and replace them after every three or four weeks.
Store them in a cool dry place where there is less moisture; not in the bathroom. Between usage, shake your loofah well and allow it to dry completely. If you still feel like your scrubber has germs, soak it in a bleach solution.
10. SEXUAL ENHANCEMENTS/LIBIDO SUPPLEMENTS
Most men are using them incorrectly. In fact, previous research has shown that a good number of people have reported that they could still not ‘rise to the occasion’ even after using sex supplements.
The setback is that there isn’t enough information out there on how to use these products.
And even if they work, most of the time they do not perform a ‘miracle’ as they allege. According to medical experts, most sexual enhancement drugs are useless if the user is not aroused.
Medics have asserted that you need to be aroused before you think of using a sex supplement. Otherwise, you will just be popping a placebo. Their argument is that when you are excited, the brain should trigger the release of a chemical into the muscle of your penis, and that triggers other important chemical processes that eventually results in a boner. However, if you are not aroused, this process cannot be initiated by a drug.
Using such drugs recreationally can also influence one’s confidence negatively. Research has revealed that men who use sex enhancers are less confident about their abilities to get and maintain a boner. Such people are also less satisfied with their sex lives. In addition, they can interfere with other drugs in your body (if you are under medication).
What these medications do is they give you unreasonable expectations.
What you need to do: the best thing is first to understand why you are having a difficulty with orgasm or why you have a low libido. Rather than using sex enhancers, you are better off seeking natural remedies.
Who knows? You may just be needing more intimacy, more talking, or more love. There are tons of ways to treat erectile dysfunction, orgasm difficulties, low libido, or vaginal pain. You just need to identify the exact underlying cause before seeking treatment for it.
9. VITAMIN PILLS
A large number of vitamin pills that people use – to increase vitamins – are water soluble and cannot be stored inside fat cells. Most of these vitamins are passed out as urine as soon as the body absorbs what it needs.
Even the soluble ones can cause a problem. Several cases have been reported where frequent consumption of the fat-soluble vitamins has risen to a level where it has become toxic to the body.
Most of these pills have attractive names like megavitamins or multivitamins, or mineral supplements, but they are bogus and only add to your health risks. They have been known to cause heart disease and even cancer.
While all the information – about the unreliability of these pills – is available in medical journals. Only a few dare to read those boring materials. Instead, people get easily attracted by how colorful the tablets look. Thanks to manufacturers and advertisers who are always ready to confront whoever questions the veracity of their claims.
What you need to do: instead of wasting your hard-earned money on multivitamins, spend your cash on fruits and veggies. The best way to acquire minerals and vitamins is through a healthy diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits.
8. EXPENSIVE COSMETICS AND TOILETRIES
Beauty companies exaggerate the ability of their products always! Does an anti-aging cream exist? Some medics allege that the sunscreen is the only legit anti-aging product.
Millions and millions of consumers, mostly women, have been cajoled into buying outrageously expensive cosmetic products that have little or no value to their well-being. These products include mascaras, highlighters, lipsticks, and body creams.
Women worship most of these items, but they do very little in removing rashes or concealing wrinkles on one’s face. But YSL, L’Oréal, Unilever, and Avon will sell them at top dollar because they are great marketers who can do anything for the prestige of their brand. This explains why some lipsticks cost as much as a new smartphone yet they are only made of various oils, fats, and wax.
You wonder why women are caught up in this madness yet being a woman is already an expensive affair. Research has proven that only 15% of the money spent on these items goes towards the ingredients; the rest is usually spent on the glossy appeal. The prices never correlate to the quality because they are usually rip-offs.
7. WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
There have been revelations that most of the bread makers who claim to manufacture whole wheat bread simply use refine flour – that is used to make white bread. The brown color is usually an addition of malt and caramel.
While most of the whole grain foods have been praised for being healthy, doctors warn that most of the products on the market are not made out of whole grains.
Whole grain foods are rich in fiber, which is great in reducing blood cholesterol and in reducing the production of carcinogenic causing substances in the body. Whole grains also help in regulating the digestive system and lessen the possibility of gastrointestinal troubles.
Unfortunately, marketers continue to use confusing terms on their packages to dupe consumers and make them think some foods are whole grain. A good example is bread. Most of the bread that is marketed as whole wheat is just refined flour with extra additives.
Apart from this scam, whole grains are also known to be unhealthy, but they are cheap to produce, and businesses want you to continue consuming them. According to experts, whole wheat can increase your blood sugar, and it is usually loaded with gluten.
What you need to do: don’t entrust the big bakeries with your bread. They are the biggest offenders.
6. PC CLEANING APPS
The web is flooded with ads about applications that can “clean your PC” and improve its performance. However, research reveals that most of these products are digital snake oil. Most people may be unaware, but the recommended way to clean your PC is using the built-in cleaning tools that can perform almost all of the work that these apps claim to do.
The reality is that our computers are bound to get slower over time. This is something that any average PC user knows. Due to this inconvenience, PC cleaning programs emerged and promised to make our computers as good as new, but in reality, most of them fail to bring any significant change in the performance of a computer.
They are particularly useless considering they offer you something that you already have then ask for money for it.
What you need to do: your computer is going to get slower owing to several reasons: ram space, lack of enough disk space, extensive CPU usage, and disk fragmentation. All of these problems can be fixed separately without the need for a ‘special’ software. For example, you can simply increase your RAM or disk space, and you will notice a huge change.
5. LOW FAT/ANYTHING LOW-FAT
Food manufacturers know that fat is responsible for the flavor and the creamy texture of your food. But since most consumers are seeking ‘healthier’ foods; they get attracted by products that claim to have little fat.
Sadly, these ‘healthy’ foods are more harmful because they have more sugars, which are added by manufacturers to compensate for the lack of fats.
In the end, a consumer ends up consuming too much sugar that is unhealthy. Worse, consumers eat too much of these products for the reason that they have been made to believe they are eating fat-free foods, and, therefore, have no guilt.
When you walk through supermarket aisles, you are likely to notice various food products that are labeled “no fat” or “low-fat.” What consumers don’t realize is that this is usually a marketing ploy to make the sugar laden products attractive. The love for this “low fat” foods is further propagated by the fact that people have been trained to believe that foods with high amounts of fat are dangerous.
More consumers continue buying these foods thinking they are purchasing products with little/low fat.
This explains why the number of obesity and heart disease cases continue to skyrocket despite the fact that most foods are being advertised as having low fat. The thing is: eating fat does not mean you will gain fat. When you consume too much candy, fries, or cake, you are likely to get fat.
What you need to do: stick to healthy foods like grocery grain and stay away from packaged or processed foods. You can also add vegetables to your diet.
4. LUXURY BRANDS
Armani, Gucci, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Rolex, and Mercedes. These are just among the biggest luxury brands that have managed to convince consumers to pay more for their products.
While it is okay to buy an expensive Gucci wallet, an ordinary wallet at the market can still hold your cash, and may even last longer when both wallets are exposed to the same wear and tear conditions.
Most of these items have managed to stay ‘on top’ because of their upscale distribution channels, their premium pricing, and their association with the rich and famous. This has driven consumers to believe that these brands are superior. Then there is also the human pride and desire to stand out.
Everyone is seeking some kind of status and having these products is the easiest way to get recognized and to ‘cheat’ your way to the top, apparently. What these brands have done is that they have managed to pull customers into an exclusive circle and they have made their customers believe that they belong to an exclusive community.
What you need to do: stay away from luxury items, especially because they add no value to your life. Even wealthy consumers are value-conscious and are critical when it comes to purchasing luxury goods/services.
And btw several counterfeit products claim to be from these luxury brands. More and more consumers fall for these fakes without even realizing.
3. GYM MEMBERSHIP
The hard truth is that you do not need a gym membership to get in shape. In most cases, your friends and family push to enroll into gym clubs, but you never use the membership to its full potential.
A number of lies have been perpetuated in the fitness world, and one of them is that if you train hard, you will look like Dwayne Johnson, or Hulk Hogan, or Sylvester Stallone. But all of these are lies.
They lure you into the gym because they claim they can reduce your fat and help you build some muscles. In reality, most gyms are mostly interested in your money. They will gladly sign you up and hope that you do not show up after three months so that your ‘space’ can be sold to someone else.
They will always meet their goal since they have aggressive sales staff who will pester you, and before you realize, you are already signed up. But wait until you discover you don’t need their services and try to cancel the membership. They will find a way to inconvenience you and will probably still ask that you pay until your membership expires.
Some gyms are also known to overcharge clients, especially those wealthy customers who pay little attention to their bank statements.
What you need to do: you are better off investing in a home gym. If that is too much, save yourself the cash and jog or take the stairs.
Starbucks deserves a medal for changing the coffee game in America with their cappuccinos, lattes, and espresso.
But most consumers do not realize that small independent shops offer better quality products than Starbucks. The problem with Starbucks coffee is that it is usually bitter and has a burnt taste, which has earned them the moniker, “Charbucks.”
The allegations have been that Starbucks over-roasts its coffee and ‘conceals’ it using lattes with syrup and sugar. Starbucks roasts their beans using high temperatures, compared to most roasters, because they have a huge demand that they are always trying to satisfy.
But you still wonder how they have been able to maintain thousands of stores around the U.S., yet they produce coffee in large scale and do not care about every single customer.
What they have managed to do is create a premium industry from a commodity that was initially cheap. One of their most notable tactics is their omnipresence and the potent smell that their coffee emits. They have also set higher prices to convince consumers that their product is much better.
What you need to do: take your time and sample different coffees. Do not be deceived by Starbucks’ strong marketing and brand image. In fact, most people buy Starbucks because of the prestige and convenience.
1. VINYL PLASTIC (PVC)
Vinyl plastic is a product that is used by almost anyone; whether at home, school, or at work. But it is known to have harmful chemicals like lead, VOC’S, Phthalates, and Dioxin.
These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and carcinogenic and are known to increase the danger to growing children. They can cause damage to the reproductive and respiratory systems. In addition, they are also harmful to the central nervous system and the liver.
The problem with Vinyl plastic is that there are very few alternatives that can get the job done, so people continue to use them regardless of their environmental risks.
PVC has highly toxic ingredients and should be avoided by all means. This is the only plastic made using chlorine. In addition, it requires toxic additives, which include metals like lead. It needs these additives to be converted into a usable consumer product.
What you need to do: while it can be challenging to find substitutions, they are there if you pay more attention. Instead of using vinyl flooring, consider linoleum flooring.
It may be difficult, but just dump those shower curtains, the bath mats or even that artificial Christmas tree.
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