Wednesday, May 12, 2010

25 Wasteful Things We Can All Live Without

All photos courtesy: Care2

We produce a lot of waste. In 2008 alone, Americans generated 250 million tons of trash, and though about a third of that was recycled, a lot went into landfills or was incinerated. Our culture is centered around disposability, and only we have the power to change that.

Take stock of the disposable, overly-packaged, and single-use products that you use, and then look for reusable alternatives. Not sure where to start? Here are more than two dozen items that many people use . . . and can easily live without.

25 Wasteful Things You Can Live Without:

Tin foil — Use an oven-safe pot or dish with a lid.
Plastic wrap — Instead, use a container with a lid.
Disposable cleaning cloths, dusters, etc. — Use a microfiber cloth that can be washed.
Paper towels — Use a tea towel, instead.
Disposable pens — Buy a good pen that only needs the ink well or refill changed.

Plastic cutlery — Use the metal stuff.
Paper plates — Washing dishes may be an effort, but it’s worth it.
Paper or plastic single-use grocery bags — Get a few reusable bags.
Packaged fruits and vegetables — Produce does not need to be packaged.
Individually wrapped snacks — Snacks travel better anyway in a hard container.

Disposable razors — Invest in a razor that only needs the blades changed.
Juice boxes — Put juice in a reusable container (not plastic).
Electric pencil sharpeners — Use the hand-crank version of days gone by.
Disposable diapers — Cloth diapers aren’t that much more difficult to use.
Disposable cloths — Fabric cloths can be washed regularly to avoid bacterial or viral build-up.

Plastic cups — Stick to reusable cups.
Bottled water — Install a water filter on your tap or pick up a water jug with a filter.
Non-rechargeable batteries — Make the investment for rechargeable batteries and you’ll save money in the long run.
Electric can openers — Use a little muscle.
Single-serving pudding or yogurt cups — Buy a large container of yogurt or make your own pudding, and send it in a reusable container.

Antibacterial wipes — If you must, use a gel hand sanitizer.
Disposable table cloths — Spills are a reality of life; just clean them up as they happen.
Facial tissues — Unless you have a bad cold, a handkerchief will work just fine.
Paper billing — Switch to e-billing for your bank statement, credit card bill, utility bill, etc.
Plasticized sticky notes — Use the original paper sticky notes; they can be recycled when you’re done with them.

Via Care2 and PlanetGreen

No comments: