23 'Helpful' Actions That Actually Make Things Worse

We all want to do what's good for the planet, and good for society as a whole. And that's admirable. The thing is, sometimes the thing we're doing isn't actually helpful. Or it even makes things worse.

For example:


Want to reach people? Persuade them online. Or stand on your roof and shout. Arguing online never convinces anyone. Studies have shown that it has the


If you want to kill germs, you use antibacterial soap. Spasoap Liquid Soap Antibacterial But using it leads to stronger germs. Antibacterial and antim


What could be better for a cause than an awareness campaign? Pretty much anything, it turns out. Sure, awareness campaigns are great ... if they're fo


Need some chill? Break out the affirmations. ony yes is yes But they're going to make you feel worse. Studies have shown that affirmations make people


We tried teaching schoolkids to Just Say No to drugs. TARE TO RESIST DRUGS It made them more likely to use drugs. Two separate studies found that at


Charity concerts for third-world countries are super-helpful. NOW Except when they aren't. Wyclef Jean collected $15 million for Haiti, then spent ove


Hybrid cars are fuel-efficient and better for the environment. Except for the drivers. Putting aside the environmental damage caused by the manufactur


If we don't recycle, we're gonna wind up like the planet in Wall-E. Or maybe not. Scientists have calculated that at current rates, all the garbage in


Some parents think vaccines are unhealthy for their kids. Not only is that wrong, it's dangerous. Despite what the internet says, there's no connectio


In 2005, England launched the Beat Bullying campaign. BULLYINC BEAT And a bunch of kids got bullied. The problem was, the bright blue Beat Bullying wr


You might be tempted to send supplies when there's a disaster. Emergency workers call that the second disaster. After Sandy Hook, donors sent upward


You might be tempted to pick a charity that has low overhead. Not SO fast. A certain amount of spending is necessary for a charity to succeed. In fact


Buying organic food sounds healthy and good for the planet. Surprisingly, it isn't. There no evidence that organically grown produce is better for you


What could be healthier and more natural than bamboo clothing? A lot of things, it turns out. In order to turn them into textiles, bamboo materials fi


Your optician probably asks you to donate your old glasses. Doing SO is useless, at best. As stupidly expensive as glasses are, it's still cheaper to


Instead of a vacation, you should go help out in a third-world country. That is, if you want to do some damage. Squads of well-intended tourists build


Worried about landfills? Buy some green disposable diapers. pure & natural organic cotton coton bio algodon organico hypoallergenic/hypoallergenique


If you buy local, you'll save the energy wasted on transporting food. But growing food is much more wasteful. Shoppers expect to enjoy the same foods


When you donate, you can earmark your money for a cause. T ocesie EDTS rofny But you really shouldn't. Charity funding tends to be a lot like high sch


You might feel the urge to donate blood after an emergency. But that leads to shortages later. Donated blood only lasts for 42 days, and donors feel t


Want to feel better about your gasoline footprint? Try biofuel. Hope you're not a fan of the planet. 90% of biofuel is made with corn ethanol. Growing


After an oil spill, volunteers scramble to wash oil off birds. Those volunteers do more harm than good. Inexperienced cleanup crews often scare endang


Want to save the planet? Use reusable grocery bags. Be prepared to use them a lot. They take 28 to 200 times as much energy to produce as disposable b


It's not just consumers whose helpful actions backfire. Sometimes it's states. Or whole countries. Georgia's bounty on boars caused the boar populatio

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