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Nov
25
2007

It’s our responsibility, get used to it!

Some people really annoy me! These aren’t even people that I know, just random strangers online. I was looking at a message board that I frequent about baby related stuff and someone wrote in a poll about Global Warming. Well, one person wrote back that they are not concerned about it in any way, because ‘everything happens for a reason’. Are you freaking kidding me?! I usually believe in that philosophy, but not when talking about the environment. ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ Um, yeah. Here’s some reasons for ya…Because we pollute the environment with our waste, because we use non-sustainable resources recklessly, because we are a consumerist and materialistic society that puts our comfort and convenience first over everything else. THAT’S WHY! Those are the reasons. (Just to name a few, there are many others.)

People need to wake up and start taking responsibility for themselves and the impact that they are making on the Earth. Is it really so hard and inconvenient to recycle? Is it really inconvenient for you to buy an energy-efficient light bulb instead of the energy-sucking kinds? I’m not saying you need to be environmentalist saints, but start giving a crap, because the world isn’t getting any better! You can make changes. You can make a difference. You might not change the world just because you start to recycle, but at least you know you won’t be making it worse.

Here are some easy changes to make in your life that will improve your impact on the environment:

-Wash your laundry in cold water, it uses less energy than having to heat the water. You can also consider using a more natural laundry detergent as well, so you are not washing chemicals down the drain.

-Use cloth napkins and hand towels in the kitchen for everyday use. Why leave those pretty cloth napkins for special occasions? Besides, you have to wash your bath towels anyways, so why not just throw in a couple of extra napkins too? All those used paper napkins and paper towels add a lot of waste to the landfills.

-Buy reusable grocery bags and actually use them. There are all kinds available now. They are functional, stylish and they actually hold a lot more groceries then the regular plastic bags.

-If you have babies, at least consider using cloth diapers. I know they are not for everyone, and I know it doesn’t sound appealing to wash the poop in your washing machine, but it’s really not like it used to be (thank God!). The cloth diapers of today are beautiful, functional, surprisingly convenient, and so easy to use that even Dad’s can get on-board with it. At the very least, take a look around the world of cloth before you make the decision of what to cover your baby’s bum in.

-You could also consider using cloth wipes. Not necessarily for bums (although that is an option too, especially if you are using cloth diapers), but for hands and faces. It easy to grab a cloth wipe, wet it at the sink and use it to wipe hands and faces after meals. I can easily go through 5 or 6 disposable wipes to clean up both of my kids after a meal, but I only need 2 cloth wipes to do the same job! And again, I just wash them with towels.

-Buy energy-efficient bulbs when your old bulbs wear out. I say wait until needed because throwing away a perfectly good light bulb seems more wastefully then actually using it and then tossing it.

-Buy rechargeable batteries, especially if you have kids with lots of toys or wireless video game controllers. Also recycle your old dead batteries. It can be tricky to find a place to recycle them, but call around and see if you can find somewhere to take them. In the meantime, put spent batteries into a plastic bag or container and set them aside for recycling.

**Edited to add: I just called my local Whole Foods and they have battery recycling bins where you can drop off your used household batteries (like AAA from toys).

Here are some interesting sites to check out if you are interested in more info or purchasing greener products: (Please note that I have NO affiliation with any of these companies or products. Some of them I have used, some I’ve only heard about. *Shop at your own risk.*)

http://www.reusablebags.com/

http://greenfeet.com/

http://www.envirosax.com/

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/

http://www.climatecrisis.net/

http://www.diaperpin.com/home.asp

http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/batteries.php  (battery recycling info)

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About the author

Heather Thurmeier

1 comment

  1. steph walling says:

    I really like what you had to say about this issue. I hear a lot of people saying the same thing and it’s irritating. I know that I do use disposable diapers but I have come around in many other ways. I was a huge paper plate user and I have totally given them up and use real dishes instead. I am using dish towels more than paper towels now. I find that I don’t miss the paper plates at all. I take my plastic bags back to stop and shop to be recycled. Just little things I have done to make a difference. That’s all it takes and if more people would do little things to help…. Thanks for letting us know that old batteries can be recycled. I had no idea and we go through so many of them. I am saving them now!

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