** Disclaimer: This post does not fall into my typical content, but part of being a good steward of my gift as a writer is using it to make the world a better place. Sometimes I do that by helping you escape in a story and other times I use my words to inform my blog audience about a particular word nerd entity that has captured my attention. Today, however, I will do neither of those things. Today, I am using my writing talents to convince you to be nice to our planet. You’ve been warned. Read on if you are still interested. **
My 7th grade students recently completed an integrated unit that combined their English Language Arts skills with environmental science content. I’ve always tried to be green and love that through this unit we were able to help the kids to see the powerful impact their daily choices make on our planet.
This summer I am going to try and put my money where my mouth is and make several small changes about our household habits. We already tote reusable water bottles and reusable coffee cups. I am vowing to reinstate our use of canvas bags instead of using 20 plastic ones each time I go to Target. I already recycle the little cardboard toilet paper tubes and carry home recyclables when the option is not available in public. But there is more I can do. Our planet deserves better than what we are doing.
Here’s how I am going to help.
We drink smoothies and protein shakes on a daily basis at my house. 4 people x 4 shakes x 7 days a week = 28 straws a week x 12 weeks of summer = 336 straws. This doesn’t count straws that might be used for lemonade or chocolate milk or cocktails. Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose. Some researchers claim that every piece of plastic ever created is still on earth and will be for many, many more years. This was news to me.
So, a few weeks ago I purchased two sets of reusable straws, one set of plastic, one set stainless Steele, from WalMart for $8 total. Using these new straws will decrease the plastic waste my household is creating. I believe that in a few years, plastic straws (and bags) will be outlawed, and when that day comes, the Zieba’s will be ready and on board.
I am going to click the little box on Amazon that says send in least amount of packages possible. It’s not so much about the cardboard packaging there… as it is the gas used to transport the multiple packages! Sure, I might have to plan ahead a bit and dig deep to find a little extra patience, but I think this it is a small price to pay. Right?!?
We are adding a second rain barrel to our gutter system this summer. Each barrel holds 50 gallons of water. That’s 100 gallons of water to use on our plants. 100 gallons that do not need to be run through the city’s water system. 100 gallons we don’t have to pay for. 100 gallons, multiples times a summer.
Did you know that 50 million pounds of toothbrushes end up in the landfill every year? Don’t feel bad I didn’t either. I also never thought of recycling my toothbrush. There is a solution to this. Bamboo toothbrushes. By using a toothbrush with a handle that is decomposable, you can do your part to decrease the plastic waste in this world! You can even get some to try for FREE right here!