Sustainable Stories

of an Ecolicous Mama

4 R's, and other necessities to live in the 21 century.

1. reFuse- do you really need that plastic bag to carry 2 items out of a store? if you shop a Costco/warehouse they just check your receipt- no bag waste! do you really need that produce bag for a bunch of bananas? of course not. DROP THE PLASTIC BAG. also, toys-toy-toys! refuse the flow of toys into your house by requesting zoo or children museum passes/memberships! do you remember what you got for your 6th bday? I don't. I do remember every trip to the aqm with my grandma, tho! refuse works for anything you KNOW will take up valuable time in your life, and collect dust! refuse the plastic straw-unless you're 2yo and need a sippy cup? refuse bottled water. PETE #1 plastic factories are causing cancer to residents who live near them; imagine that your sister/bro lived near one of those factories. Offer iced tea/coffee to guests using tap water-not bottle water, that pollute our streets and waterways.

2nd 'R'=reduce

2. do you really need 10 NEW pairs of jean? 7 handbags? 10 apples for one person? why does it matter? it takes 10,000 gallons of water to make one pair of jeans. With that handbag, gas had to be used to drive to/from the store, get a paper receipt/ink, a plastic bag made of petroleum, the cow/hide that produced methane (green house gas). The apples had to drive to you from WA, if you don't eat them before they go bad, you may drive them to a landfill. Hopefully, you compost, saving expensive and precious landfill plots. Log onto Goodwill website and sign up for their monthly 20% OFF coupon. They also have $1 days!

3rd 'R'= reuse

reuse shopping bags-even at restaurants. get yourself a Chico bag to clip on your keys, or purse and you will never be without. Reuse metal utensils. reuse glass jars (refuse plastic) to store food in. Ever make spagetti and store it in a plastic container, later put fruit in it and it ends up tasting like plastic-fruit- spagetti? plastic leaches 'stuff' into our food -and researchers are proving it's causing infertility in humans and animals. To me it is karma, we reap what we sow- we are diminishing our chances to reproduce ourselves-natures why of getting rid of the bad apple.  (the bad apple is killing the Planet by using plastic for EVERYTHING)Can you give that egg carton to a chicken farmer, instead of putting in the blue bin, bc it uses energy to turn that egg carton into something new.

4th-recycle as last resort

recycle those plastic breadbags, ziplock, cling wrap to Bag Central Stations at ANY of you local grocery stores. They take back any plastic bag/film that doesn't rip like paper, if it's stretchy they want it...but try to use the 1st R first. I buy my bread from a bakery where I bring my own, organic cloth bag, then freeze the bread to hold the moisture:refusing the bag 1st. Recycle that kitchen waste by composting- it reduces/stops the need to empty your trash bc of foul smell, it reduces the need to put out the trash to curb so often. (we put our green trash can out for pick-up once a month, and still that is too much, our blue bin goes out weekly and I'd like to reduce that too) most folks don't know that a bottle does not become a bottle once more, nor does a plastic bag, but becomes lawn furniture/plastic lumber and fleece sweaters in China-then back to you. The city of Phoenix ships the majority of post-consumer plastic over-seas...last is a lot of petroleum. recycle water too- use bath water to flush your toilet, feed your plants. I reuse a plastic milk jug, cut off the top and catch the freezing-cold water a shower wastes while waiting for the hot to run. I installed a rainbarrel, to water my garden; a must in the desert.  

1.

rescue the cold water that runs from your tub faucet, while you wait for the hot to flow. use the water to water plants or flush the toilet. Use a bucket or cut open milk jug for catching.

2.

plug your DVD, TV, stereo into one power strip and turn "off" when not in use.

3

buy organic foods. no only is it healther for you and your family, but you are not contributing to its wide spread use out there somewhere and the farmers exposure. Many teens do farm work as summer jobs.

4.

Meatless Monday- cows produce methane, a greenhouse gas. Cows, pigs and poultry are fed genetically modified corn feed. GM corn uses A BUTT LOAD of pesticides and herbicides, this includes the death of a beautiful butterfly that germinate crops like bees do. Unless free ranged, these animals live in horrible conditions. When was the last time you said 'Grace' and thanked that body for dying so you could eat its flesh? (doesn't have to be monday-just pick a day)

5.

one LED light bulb at a time. take baby steps, but take them. With every bulb that burns out, replace it with an LED bulb. CFL's have mercury, so I say buy LED bc not only do they last longer than CFL's but are healthier for the Planet.

6

buying local and in season- how far does a banana drive to get to your table? most likey Ecuador, south of the equator. Let's think about what is in a banana and the first thing you will think of is potassium. If you do your research you will find that MANY fruits and vegs have MORE potassium than a banana and can grow in your own backyard, or within 300 miles, north of the equator at least! one example- one large cucumber! and more than that-1 cup oat bran! 1 cup of artichokes is like eating 2 bananas. Why does it matter? American job dollars and petroleum.

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