Rethink Paper and Plastic
Instead of reaching for a paper plate or plastic cup, use reusable items. Most disposable paper and plastic products are not biodegradable. After your one time use of these products, they wind up in landfills and waterways. Also, consider buying a reusable water bottle for when you’re on the go, instead of cases of single use plastic bottles of water.
Reducing the amount of paper we use and reusing paper is good for the environment. Here are some ways you can reduce, or eliminate, your paper use:
- Read articles online from your favorite magazines and newspapers.
- Rather than receiving bills and statements in the mail, sign up for email notifications and automatic payments.
- Cut down on the amount of junk mail you receive by eliminating your name from unwanted subscription lists.
- Review and store documents digitally instead of printing out hard copies. You can back up important files by storing them on a second device or external hard drive.
- Instead of buying books (and acquiring excess “stuff” in your life), borrow them from your library.
- When you do need to purchase or use paper, opt for paper and other products that contain recycled fiber. This helps stretch our forest resources and helps curb waste disposal problems.
Make the Plastic Bag History
We use 8% of the world’s oil supply to make plastic, including billions of plastic bags each year. Not only is this a huge waste of resources, but it results in tons of unnecessary long-term landfill and contributes to pollution in our oceans and waterways.
Take a reusable shopping bag with you when you shop. Better yet, keep a few in your car so you’ll have one whenever you need it. (From 1,001 Ways to Save the Earth by Joanna Yarrow.)
Use Recycled Trash Bags
If you need to purchase trash can liners, look for a brand with 100% postconsumer recycled content. Producing trash bags from recycled plastic requires less energy than manufacturing those same bags from virgin plastic.
If just 1 in 10 U.S. households began purchasing trash bags made from 100% recycled materials, the annual energy savings could meet the heating needs of four thousand households in Fargo, North Dakota, for the entire year.
From The Green Book by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen (https://www.amazon.com/Green-Book-Everyday-Saving-Planet/dp/0307381358)