Happy earth day! We have been noticing a lot of ads and such about being green and environmentally friendly. It took until yesterday to realize that today is earth day. I don’t know how I forgot. It is also an ex-friend’s birthday. I always used to get him earth day cards instead of birthday cards. It amused me. Him, not so much. Maybe that’s why we aren’t friends anymore….
In honor of earth day, here are a few ideas to help conserve the environment.
12 uses for plastic containers.
Reusing plastic bottles.
I very rarely buy bottled water. I figure, if I am going to purchase a drink, it might as well be something I don’t have a lot. When I do buy a bottle, I usually save it when it is empty. (Alann hates this.) But I have learned rather painfully that when I get dehydrated, my lungs dry out first, and it becomes very hard to breathe. So I drink a lot of water.
In college, I always had the Nalg (Nalgene- who happens to be making all of their bottles BPA free starting soon, yay health!) Everyone knew which Nalg was whose. It was rather amusing. Every now and then someone would get a new one and it was a big to-do. Chances are, if you found a Nalg in the paint shop, covered in paint, that wasn't pink, it was mine. (Pink was Beth's).
I went through quite a few Nalgenes, depending on my mood. I had the BIG one, that I could fit ice and a lot of water in. That one was my Boji Nalg. It is still flecked with paint from many hot afternoons spent painting with the Nalg standing nearby, ready to be of use. I have it’s little, wide-mouthed sister, which came with a splash guard, which basically keeps you from spilling water all down your front. (Which I do, a lot, even with regular cups…) This was my usual Nalg. I also liked it because I could fit a straw in it, which made drinking it easier. For a while I had a flip top Nalg, but it had a rubber seal on the top, that was unfortunately very tempting and ended up picked off by my bored fingers one day. And then there was my first, the one that started it all, that called to me from the hiking store on my way to the bank one day. It is a narrow top, which makes it hard to fill and drink out of, but it saw me through my first Boji days, until it got WAY too hot for that little bottle. It also carries one of my first gifts from Alann- a sticker that says Leather and Lace (or something like that). I used to talk him into buying me crap out of those vending machines in the front of stores. He quit carrying quarters after a while.
To this day, I usually prefer a bottle over a cup for my water, mostly because the cat tries to stick her face in my cups and the dogs just knock them over with their tails, or faces, or feet, or big fat bodies. Of course with the bottle, the cat tries to figure out how come she can see her paw, and the water, but when she puts her paw "in" the water (on the other side of the bottle) it doesn't get wet. Hilarity ensues. She gets mad and paws at it furiously. She really doesn'y understand containers at all.
When I started working at Granite, we had a water cooler but no cups available, so out came my Stephens mug. Easy to fill, has a lid so minimum spillage (I am rather clumsy), and a straw fits nicely in the hole in the lid. (I like straws.) But here, we buy cups. I don’t like it. I have never been the kind of person to wash a towel after using it once or get a new cup for water every day. My cups usually last about a week. And so people will come down, get a cup, fill it with water, drink it, throw the cup away, and go back to their desk. We bought real glasses at Christmas so that we could cut down on cup consumption, which has honestly helped. But there are some people I know who get a new cup every day. That seems like a LOT of waste to me. At least it isn’t my money, but it is definitely my earth. (See, it all came together at the end.) Plus, with my mug, I KNOW it is my mug and no one is going to accidentally drink out of it thinking it is theirs. (Actually, it isn’t really MY mug, my mug got swiped from the green room, so I salvaged this one out of lost and found. I know it isn’t mine. I took good care of mine. This one had scratches on the lid and body. But it was the only way to take drinks out of the cafeteria, so I took it. They were expensive (to a college student)- $5!)
The moral of the story- use less disposable products and replace them with real stuff. Yes, you will spend more initially and washing it, but at least waste water can be reclaimed. Waste plastic- not so much.