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Life without Plastic

Friday, April 29, 2016

What's the Point of Individual Zero Waste Living?

Can one person make that much of a difference? Yes, you can make a world of difference. Think I'm kidding?

  1. Paper towels- A family of four can use anywhere from 8640-17,280 paper towels per year and spend $139-$299.6 per year on them.- http://www.growingagreenfamily.com/ditch-paper-towels-and-save-1000-in-five-years/ Not to mention eco-impact- http://www.growingagreenfamily.com/wait-paper-towels-really-come-from-trees/
  2. Bottled water- A family of four would use 136.6 gallons of crude oil to drink bottled water, 5832 water bottles in landfill, and spend an extra $1,236 all in one year.- http://www.growingagreenfamily.com/ditch-plastic-disposable-water-bottles-and-save-6000/
  3. Paper napkins- A family of four would use 4380 paper napkins per year and spend an extra $270.80 a year on paper versus cloth.- http://www.growingagreenfamily.com/ditch-paper-napkins-and-save-almost-nothing-huh/
  4. Disposable diapers- A family of four (with two kids) will use 14,749 disposable diapers and training pants and spend an extra $3,360 over the diapering period for both kids.- http://www.growingagreenfamily.com/saving-money-with-reusable-cloth-diapers/
  5. Disposable wipes- A family of four will use 15,500 disposable wipes and spend an extra $1700 over the diapering period of both kids.- http://www.growingagreenfamily.com/reusable-baby-wipes-vs-disposable-baby-wipes-how-much-will-you-save/
  6. Disposable menstrual products- Each woman will produce about 1642.5 lbs of trash every year from her cycles (divided from 38 year average) http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_green_lantern/2010/03/greening_the_crimson_tide.html and spend an extra $80-88 a year.- http://www.treehugger.com/health/reasons-why-you-should-switch-to-reusable-menstrual-products.html

Pretty crazy, right? So any move in the zero waste direction is going to make an immediate impact. If you influence another person, then they'll pay it forward and your impact will grow. I have one child and one on the way, so assuming that they follow our example, that's two people who will grow up and make a greater impact from the get go. If anyone ends up making positive changes from reading this blog, then it grows and so on. Once a movement gains momentum (which there are quite a few in the zero waste/plastic-free community), then it can become more mainstream and the impact grows further.

Updates: 
Things are tight, but we're doing well. Our water heater is being installed today and the warranty company is covering the new one and code updates, etc. The Winter Farmer's Market is now closed and the Summer Market doesn't start for a month, so we're a little bummed. 

Our chicken coop will be installed tomorrow and just in time! We have two or three chicks strutting around our basement bedroom and all of them roost on the edge of the brooder.

Garden has been doing well! All of my transplants seem to be thriving with all the rain we've had this week. I'll start gathering herbs to dry once the rain clears up.

I'll hopefully get my canning equipment this next month. I'm looking forward to exploring local farms for fresh fruit and vegetables. I'll be buying more plant starts and growing our garden.

Little Urban Greenie

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