Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The 3 R's... "Re"duce, "Re"use, "Re"cycle

Sorry that it's a bit cliche but I think it's worth "Re"visiting this every once in a while.

Recycle Electronics
Yesterday, I was struck by an article that I read about how many analog tv's are going to end up in the landfill because U.S. broadcasters are slated to switch to all digital transmissions by February 2009 (Baltimore Sun: The hazards inside the tube). In our desire for the latest technology, millions of sets that "can contain lead, mercury, barium, cadmium and other dangerous substances" will end up in the waste stream, further endangering our health and our planet. For those of us who live in Westchester County, we are required to safely dispose of our old electronics by participating in Household Chemical Clean-up Days. For more info about when, where and what: Westchester County Household Chemical Clean-up Days

Kick the plastic water bottle habit
This transition was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be for our family. After learning about the devastating impact that plastic water bottles are having on the earth, we stopped buying them for the house. When we first moved to Croton, we bought a Multi-Pure water purifying system and installed it under the kitchen sink. We change the filter once a year and have enjoyed great, clean water for drinking and cooking for many years. This year, I started washing and filling all of those water bottles that seem to enter my house (Corey!), and put them in the fridge.

According to the Container Recycling Institute, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States aren’t recycled. Incinerating used bottles produces toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals. Buried water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.
For more information read the article from New American Dream (great website!): http://www.newdream.org/consumer/water.php

Bring a reusable mug
Cut down on waste, as well as toxic chemicals in the environment (and your coffee), by using a reusable mug at home, in the office and on the go, instead of opting for single-use containers for coffee, tea and other beverages. When we buy our daily cup of coffee in a disposable container, we are generating about 22.75 pounds of waste per year. Across the country, 25 billion Styrofoam cups are thrown away every year, according to the EPA. Styrofoam takes hundreds of years to break down, and is made of non-renewable petroleum and it's dangerous for our health. Here's a great article from the Grinning Planet: http://www.grinningplanet.com/2005/11-01/styrofoam-cups-article.htm

If, at the rate that I am blogging, I don't post another one before the new year... I wish you all health, happiness and all things green in the coming year!

In friendship, Dani