32 most wasteful things in your daily life

Dec 19 2017, 11:27 pm

It’s pretty easy to be wasteful. From on-the-go options to disposable everything, it’s not surprising that waste has become implicit in many people’s lives. In fact, being wasteful can be a really hard habit to kick. You’ve stopped leaving the water on while brushing and always flick off the lights when you head out, but have you thought about other, more sneaky, wasteful things that pop up in everyday life?

Well, BC Hydro Power Smart definitely has and they want your opinion on what the number one most wasteful thing really is. They are pitting two wasteful acts against each other for a total of 16 matchups, so you’ll need to vote on which one really is the worst (and hopefully curb your bad habits as you learn more).

Over the next five weeks, BC Hydro Power Smart will be using your votes to get down to two not-so-fab wasteful finalists before we all vote on the Waste Showdown winner. Or shall we say, loser.

There are all sorts of energy waste and carbon emission implications associated with most of the 32 competitors in the Waste Showdown. But this isn’t about crunching kilowatt-hours or CO2 emissions—your vote should be about what you feel is a waste so avoidable that it’s inexcusable.

The 32 wasteful things in the opening round of the tournament, or bracket, are divided into four themed categories, with the following first-round match-ups:

Screen time

Acts around TVs, smartphones and computers

Samantha Roberts/Shutterstock

  • Holiday fire log channel vs. leaving the TV on for pets
  • Inefficient PVR vs. game console left on
  • Multiple TVs vs. phone upgrades
  • Digital photo frame vs. desktop computer

Heat, water and light

Energy and water waste around the home


  • Long, hot shower vs. lights left on
  • Hot water wash vs. drafty home
  • Incandescent bulbs vs. second fridge
  • Heat on overnight vs. heat-dry setting on dishwasher

The easy way out

Waste in the name of comfort and convenience


Aaron Amat/Shutterstock

  • Drive baby to sleep vs. solo commutes
  • Alkaline batteries vs. taking the elevator one or two floors
  • Bottled water vs. watering the sidewalk with your sprinkler
  • Idling in the drive-through vs. gas-powered patio heat lamp

Disposable truths

Stuff we tend to use, then throw away



  • Paper bills vs. plastic bags
  • Spoiled food vs. paper cups
  • Disposable razors vs. mops & cloths
  • Recyclables in the garbage vs. single-serve snacks

Ready to vote? Head over here to cast your ballot in the first bracket of match-ups. You can also look for updates on Twitter @PowerSmartBC and join in the fun yourself using #WasteShowdown. Stay tuned for the sweet sixteen round—what wasteful thing will reign supreme?


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DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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