hey folks, happy earth day! it's a fine day in virginia as the old adage remains true: april showers...
i don't think there's a tv program or a website that isn't talking about earth day this year. it's just about the trendiest thing going right now. we're loving it here at openhouse. we do our part to protect the environment and waste as little possible. we take all packing peanuts from shipments to the shipping store, break down or re-use the cardboard boxes, strive to purchase ceramics and textiles made with non-toxic materials and using environmentally friendly production practices. we bank online to save paper and when we do need to print something out, we use recycled copy paper. it's not much and it takes little effort on our part, so why not? to tell you the truth, once you adapt green practices to your life, it becomes second nature. what's so hard about throwing trash in the trash bag, recycling in the recycling bin and food waste in the compost pile? maybe it takes me 10 seconds longer than dropping it all in one place? i think i have 10 seconds to spare.
we don't mean to get preachy! just want everyone to take today to think a little more about the choices they make. here's some food for thought:
if every household in the United States replaced one roll of virgin-fiber paper towels with 100 percent recycled paper towels, we could save 1.4 million trees. if every household in the United States replaced just one package of virgin fiber napkins with 100 percent recycled ones, we could save 1 million trees. with those numbers in mind, using virgin fiber for single use items seems simply outrageous.
every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil
americans use 50 million tons of paper annually -- consuming more than 850 million trees
a plastic milk jug takes 1 million years to decompose
recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator
an average child will use between 8,000 -10,000 disposable diapers ($2,000 worth) before being potty trained. each year, parents and babysitters dispose of about 18 billion of these items. in the united states alone these single-use items consume nearly 100,000 tons of plastic and 800,000 tons of tree pulp. we will pay an average of $350 million annually to deal with their disposal and, to top it off, these diapers will still be in the landfill 300 years from now. americans throw away 570 diapers per second. that’s 49 million diapers per day. (www.cleanair.org)
an alternative to cloth diapers is a new one that just became available in the usa: nature babycare diapers. check them out. they are just like huggies, but made without petroleum-based plastic and they biodegrade!
NEARLY EVERY PIECE OF PLASTIC EVER MADE STILL EXISTS TODAY!
seek out reclaimed pieces: when it comes to fashion, adding a previously worn piece of clothing to your wardrobe is probably the most eco-aware step you can take. hit your local vintage or used-clothing store or find designers who use reclaimed fabrics in their collections.
denim is the staple of almost every wardrobe across the globe. make your jeans-wearing experience even more rewarding by tapping into the growing collection of organic cotton jeans available today. organic jeans range from simple button-fly, straight-leg styles to skinny and even flared- the choice is yours. (www.msnbc.msn.com)
and lastly, shop locally! buy local produce from nearby farmers or from stores that promote local farm groups, buy from local artists and designers or shops who don't need to ship their goods to you. every little bit helps.
if you feel overwhlemed, just start with one thing. think twice about buying a 24 pack of bottled water or if you must, be sure to recycle them. take a moment to think about your choices and you could make a huge impact!! happy earth day! k&m