See Entire April 30, 2010 Newsletter
My theme for the merry month of May is REDUCE – the first R! Let’s give some more stuff up and remind ourselves that there is only ONE planet. Here are Mrs. Green’s top three picks for you to consider giving up – permanently. Yes, they are repeats and yes, they all need to be repeated until we all give ’em up and get others to do same. And guess what? Together, we can.
Plastics bags – no plastic bags, preferably no paper bags, just reusable bags. Food for thought: Twelve million barrels of oil were used to make the 88.5 billion plastic bags consumed in the United States last year. And it takes four times more energy to make paper bags. The best choice is reusable shopping bags made of cotton, nylon or durable, mesh-like plastic. Put a few reusable shopping bags in your car so you have them for the next trip to ANY store. If you happen to forget your reusable bag (as we all do!), recycle or reuse your paper or plastic bags. Mrs. Green’s report card on this? A+.
Plastic bottles – Did you know that it takes 26 bottles of water to produce the plastic container for a one-liter bottle of water, and that doing so pollutes 25 liters of groundwater? If every household in the U.S. recycled just three more plastic bottles a month, we could divert more than 23 million pounds of plastic from our landfills each month. Stop buying bottled water. Use reusable water bottles instead made from materials like stainless steel or aluminum that are not likely to degrade over time. If you choose a plastic water bottle (which I think we find ourselves doing at times), check the number on the bottom first: Plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7 could pose a health threat to you, so look for plastics numbered 1, 2, 4 or 5.
Mrs. Green’s report card on this? B – at best. Still haven’t figured it out when I am in the car all day.
Catalogs – Let’s give them up! We can do this! It will cost you NOTHING!!! Let me run the numbers for you! EVERY year, 19 billion catalogs are mailed to American consumers. All those catalogs require more than 53 million trees and 56 billion gallons of wastewater to produce. I don’t have a clue how we got on so many mailing lists in the first place. Please visit CatalogChoice.org to put a stop to unwanted catalogs. Within 10 weeks, your mailbox will be empty of unwanted catalogs. A less cluttered mailbox means less pollution and less waste. Mrs. Green’s report card on this? A-. Is there a DOWN side? It was a pain to sit down and actually take the time to fill out the information. But I did it and it works. Be sure to update periodically.