Are you looking to reduce your ecological footprint, to treat the Earth a little better, and to preserve it for present and future generations? Great! I support you and I know lots of others who do as well, and you should feel comfort knowing that there is always space in life and the environment to expand upon such environmental pursuits. I have seen a lot of books selling how to be green, but foremost, the book was printed on an environmentally friendly tree and is therefore hypocritical by its own nature. Secondly, you really don’t need a book; there is information all over the Internet, much of which is common sense.
One of the greatest and easiest ways to reduce your ecological footprint is by using durable, reusable products in place of their dirty plastic, paper, and foam counterparts. Many people attempt to defend disposables based on the fact that they do not need to be washed and therefore consume less water than durable goods. First off, water is a renewable resource. You are therefore not wasting water by using it to wash your dishes. There are more efficient methods of using water than others, and it is always environmentally beneficial to use water efficiently, but using water in itself is not wasteful. The water cycle is what it sounds like—a cycle—within which water flows between solid, gas, and liquid states between various water bodies, the atmosphere, and below the ground in aquifers and other channels. In other words, you are not going to run a river dry by bathing in (just be sure to use natural cleansers).
Secondly, reusable, durable goods just make sense, and anyone arguing otherwise is lazy, self-purportedly time-strapped, or disbelieving of the truth. If those stubborn defenders of disposables were forces to make their cup, spoon, plate, fork and knife each morning, they would doubtlessly do everything in their power to reduce the time and energy they put into making these items. Current systems make disposable goods appear to be the least energy intensive, because of how they flow effortlessly from the store to the home to the trash receptacle, but this negates the resource-rich mining* and paper# industries involved in the production of disposables. Also negated are the adverse environmental impacts of these industries, which include greenhouse gas emissions, natural habitat destruction, land erosion, visual and audible pollution, and more. In addition, we must not forget the amount of waste produced by disposables, the infrastructural requirements involved in transporting and disposing waste, and the lasting impacts of putting such goods into landfills (I don’t want a landfill next to my home, do you?).
Purchase reusable items, and minimize your consumption of disposables. Below I have provided a list of items which over the years have been dominated by disposables. Take the reusable back, say no to disposables, and lead others by proving that life and the environment are both bettered by the use of reusable, durable goods.
Use durable, reusable versions of the following, while in the process reducing your ecological footprint: Plates, Cups, Utensils, Bags, Coffee Mugs, Water Containers, Towels, Napkins, Food Containers, Shopping Bags, Toiletries, Diapers
*Fossil fuels like petroleum and natural gas must be mined for the manufacturing of plastics
# Paper and pulp industries depend on trees, which give us oxygen and protect the environment in innumerable ways. These industries also rely on intense inputs from the fossil fuel industries, which produce lots of GHG emissions and contribute to global climate change.