Why Does It Matter?
We have more stuff, use more stuff and dispose of more stuff than ever before. As always, stopping a problem before it starts is the best way to make a change. That means that you and I have an incredible opportunity to make a positive environmental impact just by making some positive choices when we shop. In order to stop our waste before it starts, we need to look at some examples of some “Good”, “Better” and “Best” environmental options when it comes to what we choose to purchase.
What Should You Do?
Let’s take a look a couple of examples of items you probably buy on a regular basis and figure out how to make the best environmental choices. Often, the best environmental choice is the best one for your grocery budget as well…
Cereal: There are many packaging options for cereal as evidenced by the fact that it takes up an ENTIRE aisle at the grocery store.
· Good – Any of the many recyclable boxes of cereal are an okay choice for the environment. The box is made of recycled paper and can be recycled again. But, the cellophane bag cannot be recycled.
· Better – Buy your cereal in a bulk box or bulk bag. Make sure to recycle your giant box.
· Best – Make your own cereal with bulk oats, nuts, and fruits. This option is especially good if you invest in some reusable produce bags.
Juice: Like cereal, there are as many choices for packaging of juice as there are flavors.
· Good – Drink powder pouches. These can come in plastic or the aluminum-coated paper. If they are plastic, they can be recycled. The aluminum-coated pouches cannot be recycled, but take few resources to make and take up little space in the trash…
· Better – Plastic squeeze bottles and drink pouches. The squeeze bottles are recyclable and if you know a creative soul who can make things out of the drink pouches, this is not a bad environmental choice.
· Best – Big gallon plastic jugs of juice are recyclable and therefore a good choice. An even better option might be a steel or aluminum can of juice as metals can be recycled many, many times.
There are “Good”, “Better” and “Best” environmental choices to be made for all the items we purchase on a regular basis. It’s these little daily choices that make the biggest overall environmental impact.
Next month we’re going to explore a favorite subject of many…books! We’ll highlight our local libraries and the great work they do and how that they help us all reduce and reuse. Join us then!