Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Choose to Reuse

Over the past few months, I have been in the process of getting rid of everything disposable and replacing it with something reusable. Now a days, it's considered almost weird to have reusable stuff. People still look at me weird with my reusable shopping bags. What do you think that they used back in the days before they had reusable plastic bags? They used paper bags! Do you know how many plastic shopping bags the US goes through annually? The number is approximately 100 billion! How crazy is that?! Now, some of those bags get recycled when thrown away, but only about 5.2% of them. Sad number huh? All the rest of them will most likely end up in your local landfill. Also, plastics are not biodegradable. They will eventually, if left out in the sun, photo-degrade. Plastic bags can also be burnt. This process is also bad for the environment though. Basically, bottom line is that disposable plastic bags are very bad for the environment. We can relpace a lot of daily things with reusable products like the following:

Plastic shopping bags: Now this one is an easy change. Plus many stores will give you a small credit for using them! Bonus! There are many sites that sell them and actually most grocery stores sell them now as well. You can check out Reusable Bags. They have a bunch of cool stuff on there.

Paper towels & paper napkins: Cloth towels and napkins just make so much more sense! I do know that using paper towels can be addictive. I would use them every time I cleaned my kitchen counters. Just think of how much better it is for the environment though. If you chose to replace your paper towels and napkins with cloth, then just use up whatever you have left of your paper ones. *If you have a compost heap or worm compost, then you can throw your used paper towels in there after use as well.* There are so many cute cloth napkins too! I like these ones on Etsy.

Disposable feminine products: I say organic cotton or hemp pads are the way to go! I just talked about this in my last post, so I will make this short. A lot of people say, "Gross! That is so dirty and unsanitary!" Um, no not really. Do a little research and look into what all is in a tampon. You will be suprised. Products I recommend are the Diva Cup & Moonpads.

Disposable diapers: Now, I am not a mom yet, but I plan on using these when I am. I have lots of friends and relatives who have used cloth diapers. They also have a lot cuter designs now then they did back when I was a baby according to my mom. You can read more about cloth diapers here.

Disposable plastic sandwich bags & plastic tupperwear: These are definitally adding to land fills more and more every year! Here is a good site on how to make reusable sandwich bags.You can also buy glass tupperwear instead of plastic.

Toilet paper: Using reusable toilet paper is the most controversial in this list. I am still trying to convince my husband on this one. I think that at first I will just have the cloth toilet paper in my bathroom and then slowly work on getting him to switch over. He is going to get a baday for his bathroom, which I am happy about. Basically for reusable toilet paper there are dry and wet wipes. I like the idea of putting the wet wipes in a wipe warmer with a soap and oil solution. You have two separate bags for the wipes. The dry wipes go in the "wet bag" and the wet wipes go in a bucket with a lid. It is a good idea to have a solution in the bucket as well such as Bac-Out and water. A lot of people worry that it is not sanitary. It is plenty sanitary so long as you take care in washing them well. I say to wash them in hot water with a natural detergent and some baking soda. You can also add vinigar to your rinse cycle. You can read more on cloth wipes at WallyPop.

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