It is so convenient to reach for the paper napkins or paper plates at lunch time when I am just having a sandwich or a few chips. I might even pour my diet coke in a paper cup instead of reaching for a glass, or better still drinking from the bottle.
That might make sense at a family reunion, or a church dinner, but every day at home use, when we all have dishwashers that do the work for us – why oh why are we still using disposable dinner ware? I’m sure I don’t have an answer, and I will quickly add I only use throw-away items on occasion, for that reason. I have a dishwasher. Sometimes it is my husband, and then the next time it is me. And loading it with a few items here and there I may get a load of dishes in a couple days and that’s when we turn the DW on. OK, there are only two in my house until the children come home for a visit, but even then I find it a joy to be in the kitchen with my daughters again like we once did.
So let’s look at what we overuse that would save the environment if we stopped using, or using less of anyway. I know. I agreed earlier that it is easier, but think of the money we would save if we started using the appliances we have.
- How about paper plates
- Napkins – I have collected cloth napkins to have enough for a dinner party. They may not match, but I know we will be washing clothes/towels the next day. Just toss them in with the rest.
- Plastic utensils
- Stop using paper towels to dry dishes or your hands.
- How about diapers? For sure they are convenient, however disposable diapers are one of the worst things you can put into a landfill,
- Bottled water. I’ve calculated my husband and I spend $548.00 a year on bottled water. He insists he can drink better and the water also taste better from a bottle. My refrigerator has a water filter in the door. At 24 bottles in a case x 3 a week x 52 weeks = 3744 bottles we are contributing to the landfills. (I may show this to hubs and see if I can get my point across!!) Staggering when I look at in writing.
- Then there is the Ziploc or glad bags. I usually have two boxes in the island drawer for my convenience. Instead let’s try using plastic re-usable containers.
- Grocery bags – the plastic kind. There are cloth-reusable bags on the market now, the size of the plastic grocery bag, and yet we continue to use the grocer’s bags without thinking.
- Here is a new one. Hasn’t been on the market long, in fact I just got one. The Swiffer!! Oh yes you talk about convenient, just place one of the disposable cloths on the Swiffer and then throw it away when the job is done. Have you noticed the price of the replacement cloths?
- AA batteries. Here is one I must start doing. For a few cents more than what I pay for several packs of AA batteries, (which every remote in my house uses) I could get rechargeable batteries. What can one do with dead batteries but to throw them in the trash?
“What’s the moral of the story here? You save money (often pretty quickly) by buying stuff that’s reusable instead of stuff that’s disposable. Plus, you are helping the environment which simply can’t hurt in the long run.