September 27, 2010

I’m With Stupid…


“Earth Provides us Enough to Satisfy Every Man’s Need, But Not Every Man’s Greed” – Mahatma Gandhi

Our society needs to move more towards becoming a reusable society.  Many of you reading this post may already follow an eco friendly lifestyle, but we can all agree we are in the minority.  I am still amazed when I go grocery shopping, how many people do not carry reusable bags.  Plastic bags are flying everywhere and cases of plastic water bottles being carried .

We need the whole world to join the revolution.  Our Earth is hurting and needs our help. 

-Food packaging makes up to 20 percent of our solid waste
-The average American produces 4.6 pounds of trash a day!!!
-32 million acres of woodlands gets chopped down each year to make paper towels, paper cups, to go boxes (most things which we use for less than 5 minutes).
-Between San Fransisco and Hawaii, there is a floating trash island twice the size of Texas IN THE OCEAN! It contains 80% plastic and is over 3.5 tons! This effects fish and our water!
-1 billion people in the world do not have clean water!!! Americans FLUSH 2.5 trillion gallons down the toilet a year!
-It is predicted that by 2050, clean water to drink worldwide will be a “rich man’s” commodity!!! (Without water, we die)
-More than 1/2 of our water consumption on the earth is used to keep the meat and dairy industry functioning. So, if we were all vegetarians, we wouldn’t have billions of people without water and dying

It is good to look at things around us and answer two questions:  
1.  Where did it come from?
2.  Where will it go when I am done with it?
For instance, a paper towel.  It comes from a tree.  It is manufactured in a factory, wrapped up in plastic, shipped all over the country and then sold to a consumer.  The consumer uses the paper towel for less than 5 minutes and throws it in the trash.  Then the paper towel begins its journey in a plastic trash bag.  It rides in a garbage truck and ends up in a landfill.  We should ask ourselves, is it worth it?  We could use reusable napkins that are made one time and do not end up in a landfill.
So what can we do?

Reduce your packaging:
Pay attention to packaging that your food comes in at the grocery store. Buy from bulk bins when you can.

Bring your own Tupperware to restaurants when you know you will have leftovers. Choose restaurants that have great conservation techniques.

Do not buy bottled water or drinks! Invest in good reusable bottles and coffee mugs. Buy more than one, so you always have them available. Plan ahead for trips and outings.

Always have your reusable bags ready! Plastic bags are being eliminated from some grocery stores already! Reusable bags are a tiny investment to help reduce waste!

Think before you buy paper products:
Napkins and paper towels are made from an actual tree. Then we use them for less than five minutes and then throw them away! Try using dish towels or old shirts instead! If you do use paper towels, buy recycled! Please don’t support the companies that only use new trees to make products!

When it’s Yellow, Let it Mellow:
People are dying everyday because they do not have clean water and we flush ours down the toilet! It is perfectly sanitary to not flush the toilet every time you use it! You can save 20-40 gallons of water a day!

These are just a few ideas to help reduce our impact on the Earth! Remember that our actions affect everyone. If you want your grand kids and great grand kids to enjoy walks in the park or swimming in a lake or ocean, act now! I would love to hear your ideas as well! How do you celebrate Earth Day everyday?  Below is a picture from Earth Day 1990!  These issues are not anything new, however they are getting more severe!  Let’s be the generation that starts reversing our damage!

Earth Day 1990

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Mary Holland  |  Contribution: 1,100