Did you know that:
- In the U.S. the average person create 4.39 pounds of trash per day and up to 56 tons of trash per year?
- Every year we fill enough garbage trucks to form a line that would stretch from the earth to halfway to the moon?
- Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour?
- Each year Americans trash enough office paper to build a 12-foot wall from Los Angeles to New York City?
- Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail every year and most of it winds up in landfills?
- Forty-three thousand tons of food is thrown out in the United States each day?
- Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures a year?
The three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle – all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. They conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy plus reduce pollution. REDUCE means to find different ways to decrease the quantity of garbage that finds its way into our landfills. REUSE means finding methods to use things repeatedly instead of throwing them away and buying new things. RECYCLE literally means to convert something that is old into something new.
Some tips on how to have a tree-free home:
In many cases, switching to cloth instead of paper will not only save you money but it will also reduce your waste amount.
These are easy ways to turn your home into a tree-free place!
- Instead of using paper napkins switch to cloth napkins. You don’t need to wash after every meal unless they get really dirty, so have everyone in the family have a dedicated napkin ring so you can keep them separate if you use them for several meals.
- Use towels instead of paper towels. A great way to get free towels is to cut up old t-shirts and use those! You can cut up smaller ones for washing dishes too.
- Norwex sells cloths for different purposes of cleaning; use one for counters, one for mirrors one for floors. This is a sanitary way to clean your kitchens and bathrooms without using paper!
- Read newspapers and magazines online
- If you do read paper magazines and newspapers, use these items for your kids to paint on or make collages from. You can even use newspaper as gift wrap.
- Purchase toilet paper that is made from the most post-consumer paper you can find.
- Instead of buying notepads for grocery lists or phone messages etc. use once-used paper, or old cards, wrapping paper, envelopes etc. To make a notepad out of these items cut into similar size squares, punch a couple holes in them and tie together with ribbon.
- If you do not like the previous idea, buy a whiteboard or chalk paint and write messages and lists on these boards.
- Use handkerchiefs or old cut up t-shirts as tissues. You can cut them up into the same size and place them in a small box, when dirty toss them in the laundry.
- Switch to online billing instead of getting paper ones mailed to your house.
- Scan paper documents and save them on your computer.
- When you print, print papers double sided.
- If you use paper RECYCLE it.
Switching to a paper-free home may take some time getting used to but you will soon see that it is extremely beneficial because it will save you money. When you launder the cloths mentioned above, be sure to use water and energy saving techniques to be as environmentally friendly as possible.