Unsustainable practices examples that all should know about

We live in a world with finite resources, yet many of us still choose to operate in an unsustainable fashion. Unsustainable practices deplete or damage the environment and natural resources and can eventually lead to environmental degradation, health hazards, and poverty.

From air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels to overfishing, countless examples of unsustainable practices are happening around the globe. In this blog post, we will explore some unsustainable practices and standards in-depth and discuss how we can shift toward more sustainable approaches that prioritize both the environment and people.

Unsustainable practices examples

Several unsustainable practices can hurt the environment. Some of these practices include


Overfishing is one of the most unsustainable practices that humans engage in. It refers to the act of fishing beyond the capacity of the fish population to replenish itself. This often results in the depletion of fish stocks and severe damage to ocean ecosystems.

Overfishing is a massive problem because of biodiversity and the destruction of vital habitats. Additionally, it can cause economic hardship for fishermen and coastal communities who rely on fish for their livelihoods. In some cases, overfishing has even caused entire species of fish to go extinct.

Overfishing occurs for many reasons, but some of the most common include illegal fishing, poorly managed fisheries, destructive fishing methods, and consumer demand for certain types of fish. To address this issue, we need better educate people about the importance of sustainable fishing practices and put laws and regulations in place to protect our oceans and marine life.

Clear cutting

Precise cutting is a forestry practice in which all trees in an area are cut down. This practice can harm the environment, leaving the land vulnerable to soil erosion, flooding, and other problems. Additionally, precise cutting can lead to the loss of habitat for wildlife and the destruction of delicate ecosystems.

Tar sand oil extraction

Tar sands are a mixture of sand, clay, water, and bitumen. Bitumen is a black, sticky substance that is used to make asphalt. Tar sands cannot be mined using traditional methods because the bitumen is too thick to be extracted using open-pit mining techniques.

Instead, tar sand deposits are mined using a process called strip mining. Strip mining involves removing the top layer of soil and rock to access the tar sands underneath. This process can damage the environment by removing vegetation and disturbing the natural landscape.

Once the tar sands are exposed, they are scooped up by giant machines and transported to processing facilities. The bitumen is then separated from the sand and clay using froth flotation. Froth flotation uses chemicals and air bubbles to float the bitumen to the surface of a tank, where it can be skimmed off.

The remaining sand and clay are pumped back into the pit, eventually covered by the next layer of soil and rock removed during strip mining. This process creates large amounts of waste material that must be disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.

Tar sand oil extraction is unsustainable because it damages the environment during the mining and processing phases. This oil extraction also requires large amounts of water and energy, further contributing to its negative environmental impact.

Hydraulic fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, extracts natural gas and oil from shale rock formations. The process involves drilling a well into the shale and injecting a high-pressure stream of water, chemicals, and sand into the rock to break it up and release the gas or oil.

Fracking has become an increasingly controversial practice in recent years due to its potential negative impacts on the environment and public health. There are concerns that the chemicals used in the fracking process could contaminate groundwater supplies and that the wastewater produced by fracking could pollute surface waters. There are also concerns that the heavy industrial equipment needed for fracking could damage sensitive ecosystems.

Despite these concerns, hydraulic fracturing continues to be used in many parts of the United States, as it is an essential source of domestic energy production. Various regulatory measures have been put in place to mitigate some of the potential negative impacts of fracking. For example, some states require disclosure of the chemicals used in the fracking process, and there are regulations governing how wastewater must be disposed of.

Mountaintop removal

Mountaintop removal

Mountaintop removal is surface mining involving removing the top of a mountain to access the coal beneath it. This practice has recently been increasingly used to extract coal more cheaply and quickly. However, mountaintop removal is highly controversial because it can devastate local ecosystems and communities.

Some of the leading environmental concerns with mountaintop removal are the destruction of forests, loss of topsoil, and pollution of waterways. The process also creates large amounts of waste rock that must be disposed of, often in environmentally harmful ways. In addition, mountaintop removal can lead to health problems for people living near the mines due to air and water pollution.

Critics of mountaintop removal argue that it is an unsustainable practice that should be banned. They point to the significant environmental impacts and the fact that it often leads to economic hardship for local communities. Supporters of mountaintop removal argue that it is a necessary practice to meet the world’s demand for coal. They say that many jobs depend on mountaintop removal and that banning the practice would have negative economic consequences.

What is not a sustainable practice?

Businesses can adopt many sustainable practices to reduce their environmental impact. However, several practices must be more sustainable and can harm the environment. Here are some examples of unsustainable practices:

– Burning fossil fuels: Fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas are non-renewable resources that release harmful emissions into the atmosphere when burned. This contributes to climate change and air pollution, which can have a devastating effect on the environment.

– Deforestation: Deforestation is clearing trees and vegetation from an area of land. This destroys habitat for wildlife, increases carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and can lead to soil erosion.

– Overfishing: Overfishing is the practice of catching fish at a rate that exceeds the ability of the fish population to replenish itself. This can lead to severe consequences for marine ecosystems, including the depletion of fish stocks and the collapse of entire fisheries.

– Polluting water sources: Water pollution occurs when contaminants are introduced into bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, and oceans. This can have a devastating effect on aquatic ecosystems and public health.

Examples of unsustainable practices in school

There are many examples of unsustainable practices in schools. Some of the most common include:

1. Using paper unnecessarily: Many schools still rely heavily on paper, whether it’s for handouts, memos, or other communications. This not only wastes resources but also creates a lot of unnecessary waste.

2. Refrigerating food and drinks: Most schools have vending machines that refrigerate food and beverages, which use a lot of energy and contribute to climate change.

3. Wasting water: From leaving faucets running to overwatering sports fields, there are many ways that schools can waste water. This is not only bad for the environment but also wastes valuable resources.

4. Using toxic cleaning products: Many cleaning products used in schools contain harmful chemicals that can damage the environment and human health.

5. Not recycling: Many schools need comprehensive recycling programs. This means that a lot of materials end up in landfills needlessly.

The effects of unsustainable practices

Several unsustainable practices can have adverse effects on the environment. These include things like deforestation, overgrazing, and soil erosion. These practices can lead to biodiversity loss and soil and water pollution. In addition, they can contribute to climate change.

How to be more sustainable?

To be more sustainable, it is first essential to understand unsustainable practices. Once you know the untenable practices you may be guilty of, you can change your habits. Here are some common examples of unsustainable practices:

Driving a car: Cars are one of the biggest polluters. Try walking, biking, or public transportation instead.

Eating meat: The meat industry is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. Try eating more vegetables and plant-based proteins instead.

Using single-use plastic: Single-use plastics take hundreds of years to decompose and contribute to pollution. Bring your reusable bags and water bottles, and avoid using straws and disposable cups whenever possible.

Not recycling: Recycling helps to reduce waste and conserve resources. Make sure to recycle all recyclable materials such as paper, glass, metal, and plastic.

You can also save energy and conserve resources by turning off lights when you leave a room, unplugging appliances when they’re not in use, line drying your clothes instead of using a dryer, and planting trees or other plants. Every little bit counts when it comes to being more sustainable!


Unsustainable practices are a significant environmental threat and have caused many detrimental effects on our planet. The examples discussed in this article demonstrate how widespread these untenable practices can be, from overfishing and deforestation to burning fossil fuels. We must all work together to mitigate their impacts and build a more sustainable future for generations. Education, awareness raising, collaboration between stakeholders, and targeted legislation make it possible to create real change.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What practice needs to be more sustainable?

There are many unsustainable practices that people engage in daily. They need to be made aware of their impact on the environment. Here are some examples of unsustainable practices:

1. Burning fossil fuels: Burning coal, oil, and natural gas releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, causing climate change and global warming.

2. Deforestation: Cutting down trees without replanting them decreases the Earth’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide, one of the leading greenhouse gasses responsible for climate change.

3. Overfishing: Overfishing depletes fish populations and disrupts the entire marine ecosystem. It can lead to species extinction and jeopardize the food security of millions of people who rely on fish as a significant source of protein.

4. Toxic waste dumping: Toxic waste into landfills or waterways pollutes the environment and endangers human health.

5. Single-use plastic: Single-use plastic items like water bottles and straws are a significant source of pollution because they’re not biodegradable. They often end up in our oceans, where they harm marine life.

What are some unsustainable human activities?

Many unsustainable human activities are detrimental to the environment. These include cutting down forests, overgrazing land, and overfishing. These activities can lead to soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, and climate change. Additionally, burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.

What is something unsustainable?

Something unsustainable is a practice or activity with negative environmental, social, or economic consequences and cannot be continued indefinitely. Unsustainable practices examples include things like using up more resources than can be replenished, emitting pollutants at a rate higher than they can be safely absorbed, or creating waste faster than it can be effectively disposed of. While some unsustainable practices may provide short-term benefits, they ultimately lead to long-term problems that can be difficult or impossible to correct.