Author Topic: 30 Days to Sustainable Living - Day 5  (Read 783 times)

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Offline Matthew

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30 Days to Sustainable Living - Day 5
« on: September 04, 2006, 03:21:51 PM »
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  • 30 Days Towards Sustainability

    Day 5: Abandon Disposables!

    I guess this is the "bad pun" day. Disposables, of
    course, are designed to be abandoned, and that
    indeed is the problem. We are a throw-away society
    and that is a measure of our poor stewardship of
    our wealth.

    Replace paper products with durables.

    No paper towel can clean as well as a cloth towel.
    In my kitchen I have a big wicker basket of cloth
    towels and napkins. I also have a second basket
    for the towels and napkins for when they have been
    used. When I am cooking, I make sure I have
    several cloth towels handy. I often tuck one into
    my belt so I can wipe or dry my hands on it as
    necessary. If I am simply mopping up a bit of
    water, I hang the towel over the side of the
    wicker basket so it can dry and be used again
    without washing first. If the cloth rag is wet,
    and needs a washing before it can be used again, I
    also hang it on the side of the basket to dry, so
    I don't end up with a smelly basket of moldy
    cloths. Flea markets and garage sales are great
    places to find towels and cloth napkins. Here's a
    link to a site with info about making your own
    cloth napkins:

    Make your own cloth napkins!

    Remember: six MILLION trees are murdered every
    year to make tissues for people to blow their
    noses with. Carry a cloth handkerchief instead! If
    you have the sniffles, carry two or three


    So many parents have told me that cloth diapers
    are superior to disposable diapers that even
    though I myself have no children, I do not
    hesitate to recommend them. First of all,
    manufacturing disposable diapers is not an
    environmentally friendly process, and second of
    all, neither is the popular method of disposal
    (wrapping in black plastic and burying them in the
    ground). And third, children wearing cloth diapers
    usually are toilet trained several months in
    advance of the disposable wearing kids. Every
    parent I've ever known has welcomed the day a
    child is toilet trained with more enthusiasm than
    the Parisians welcoming the Allied troops during
    World War II. Here are some links where you can
    find everything that you need to know about cloth

    Plates, Cups, Utensils

    If your church has a dinner and habitually uses
    paper plates and cups, bring your own plate, cup,
    utensils, and then take them home afterwards and
    wash them. Instead of using foam cups for coffee
    at work, bring your own coffee cup from home. Note
    that a quiet example is often more productive than
    a stern lecture. Us United Statesians throw away
    25 BILLION polystyrene cups every year!

    Re-use Gift Wrappings

    Growing up in southwest Oklahoma in the 1950s and
    1960s, our family routinely recycled bows,
    ribbons, and a lot of wrapping paper from year to
    year. When asked about that, my mother would say,
    "We only used those bows once, it would be foolish
    to throw them away." Actually, some of those bows
    had been used in our family for several years. But
    if you pack them away carefully, they are just
    fine the following year.

    Re-fill Water Bottles.

    If you buy water in plastic bottles, refill the
    bottles. Not only do you recycle a useful product,
    you save money. You can refill the bottles with
    filtered water. A second alternative is to NOT buy
    water in plastic disposable bottles and instead
    carry water in permanent containers. These can be
    filled with tap water or with filtered water. Note
    that even the most expensive bottled waters are
    usually just tap water that has been filtered.

    Ditch the Store-bought Sponges.

    Store-bought sponges quickly become breeding
    grounds for bacteria. If you use a used sponge to
    (e.g.) Clean a counter-top, generally you are just
    smearing around even more bacteria to new breeding
    grounds. Using a dish rag or permanent scrub brush
    is a much healthier option - healthy for you and
    your family, and healthy for the environment.

    Avoid Plastic Bags.

    Buy several cloth totes and take them with you
    when you go shopping.

    Glass Bottles

    Even glass is considered disposable these days.
    Many people actually throw away glass jars after
    consuming the food that was inside. I did that one
    time. I was about 12 years old. I threw a pickle
    jar into the trash at my grandparent's house. My
    grandfather Glen Waldrop pulled it out of the
    trash, looked at me and said, "Bobby Max, you
    already paid for that glass jar, why would you
    want to throw it away?" Indeed.

    Sure, glass can be recycled, and if you won't use
    the jar again, then it should go to the recycling
    bin. But a better idea is to re-use the glass jar.
    A lot of my drinking glasses were once food jars.
    I use glass jars to store dehydrated foods,
    smaller amounts of items I buy in bulk (like
    certified organic whole wheat flour), and cold
    water in the refrigerator.

    I am sure there are many other ideas out there
    about replacements for disposable items in our
    Feeling generous? Want to say "thank you"? Feel free to send gifts from my Amazon wishlist!

    Start session by clicking this link, and my family and I get a commission on your purchase!

    Offline CampeadorShin

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    30 Days to Sustainable Living - Day 5
    « Reply #1 on: September 07, 2006, 07:36:26 PM »
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  • Diapers, yuck!
    Catholic warriors:
    My older avatar of Guy Fawkes that caused so much arguing, made by peters_student:


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