MIAMI (CBSMiami) – April is Earth Month and next Monday is Earth Day.

We all try to do right by the environment by recycling but it’s little things we’re doing, or not doing, daily that could have a negative impact.

Recently we aired a story about how most of us are recycling all wrong. In fact, roughly 25 percent of what people try to recycle is actually trash.

Today’s Lauren’s List breaks down a few other mistakes we’re making that hurt instead of helping the environment.

Hand Washing Dishes
You may think using a dishwasher wastes a lot of water, but you’re actually wasting more by washing dishes by hand, according to the Student Conservation Association. You use up to 50 percent more water when you do dishes in the sink. The New York Times found the typical kitchen faucet uses 1.5 gallons of water per minute. Five minutes of washing dishes equals 7.5 gallons of water. While a dishwasher uses just 3.5 gallons of water per cycle.

Throwing Batteries In The Trash
So we know we’ve been throwing too much trash in the recycling bin, but when it comes to batteries, they should not be in the trash either. Batteries are loaded with metals that could leach into groundwater through landfills. These need to be recycled in specific bins. Check out recyclenation.com to know exactly where you can drop off all those dead batteries.

Not Checking Tire Pressure
Driving less would obviously be best for the environment, but hey, we have to get around somehow. So why not make sure your tires aren’t doing even more damage to the Earth. Poor tire pressure can mean a higher rate of emissions, as well as lower fuel efficiency. EarthDay.org says each gallon of gas you save reduces your carbon footprint by 20 pounds, plus you’ll be saving money, too. No use wasting gas simply because your tire pressure isn’t where it should be.

Coffee Pods
Those popular coffee pods are plastic and most are not recyclable. With one in three us homes owning a single-serve coffeemaker, this means billions of these pods are ending up in landfills each year. Keurig has pledged to make their K-cups recyclable by 2020, but other companies have not. Try a re-useable filter instead or look for brands made from biodegradable materials, like Juan Valdez.

Do you do any of these things?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

Lauren Pastrana

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