Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day 149 of our Green Year: Curse The Disposables

For the day before our five month anniversary, we have chosen to blog about our decision to expand on the list of disposable items we will no longer use. This can be very hard to do because we live in a disposable society. Nearly everything that we buy is disposable in some form or another. However, for our purpose, we will focus on some select items that are very disposable and where there are alternatives available.

A large portion of the waste that people generate comes from disposable items. Whether it is disposable razors or disposable Swiffer Sweepers, the amount is staggering. These are items that do not need to exist. You can use items like electric razors, brooms and other items that are not disposable and last a lot longer.

For us, disposable items that do not, and will never, have a home with us include:
  1. Disposable Razors: I have a beard and scissors or an electric razor can be used instead of disposable plastic razors. We understand using an electric razor uses power, but it is very little and it can be offset by our purchases of carbon offsets. It also does not add to the landfill anywhere near as much when taken care of. In a way the electric razor offsets itself because we do not buy disposable razors on a continuous basis for years on end. One electric razor can last years, which beats out buying bags of disposable plastic razors.
  2. Disposable Utensils, Cups and Plates: When we went to a recent celebration, we saw someone show up for some cake with a clay bowl. That meant they did not have to use the paper plate or utensils provided.
  3. Swiffer Sweeper: This is a product we hate. It is the perfect example of our disposable society. Instead of simply using a broom, mop or cloth, people use this item that is thrown out after a few uses.
  4. Disposable Cloths: There is no reason to buy something like napkins, J-cloths or anything along those lines when there are cloths that can be washed by hand.
This does not cover all the disposable items that are out there, but it is a short list of some examples of the items we will avoid in our quest to stay away from disposable items.

It was a near litter-free day today, we only picked up one disposable beverage container on our usual route.

Be sure to check out our daily activities at Our Green Year Journal. This is where we put up all our activities for each day, many of which we have committed to doing.