December 2018

Refuse: Green Tips

Our busy lifestyles often make is hard to “be green”.  We each do what we can.  One of the simplest things we can all do, no matter our pace of life or budget, is to simply refuse to allow single-use plastics or other easily disposable items to enter into our lives.  Plastic is a miraculous material- it lasts thousands of years and costs almost nothing to make. But sadly, the vast majority of plastic waste actually can’t be recycled, including straws, coffee cups and lids, and most food packaging.

This is a recipe for disaster for our landfills and oceans, which are being filled with plastic and other trash that started out as freebies.  The cost of those freebies ends up being so much greater.

No planning or preparation is required to say no to a plastic straw, cheap giveaways or handouts.  At the dentist you don’t have to take that plastic baggie filled with floss, toothbrushes and travel-sized toothpaste.  Pens, business cards or other items being given away at conferences or fairs can also be refused.  The next time someone hands you something, ask yourself if it’s something you actually need.  What will you do with it?  Where will it end up when you’re done with it?  It’s ok to say, “No thank you” and hand it right back. 

Ready to do even more? Refuse to let easily disposable items into your life by refusing to purchase produce wrapped in plastic or goods packaged in non-recyclable packaging.  If you can’t imagine how you would dispose of that item other than in a landfill, then just refuse to bring it into your life. 

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