09 January 2010

LGSG: Reusable Plates v. throwaways

Throwaway plates are one of the biggest source of consumer waste here in America and also one of the convenience items found in many households.  Throwaway plates have become a staple for busy people on the go, but they cost the individual and the environment in the long run.

Giving up throwaways is a great way to save some money on a tight budget.  It is far less costly for both the consumer and the environment to use reusable plates and wash them.

Some facts on throwaways:

  • Paper manufacturing doesn't just cost in lost trees.  Manufacturing also produces chemical and material waste.

  • Throwaway plates are not recyclable due to the food waste on them.  Plates made of paper and other biodegradable materials can be composted though.

  • Nearly 100 billion plastic, paper, and styrofoam cups end up in American landfills and incenerators every year.  Wow!  Source

If you must use throwaways:
  • Opt for plates that are biodegradable.  More ecofriendly options include recycled paper and other plant based fibers from companies like Earthshell and Treecycle.
  • Use coupons and watch for sales.  Your money is also a very valuable resource.
  • Compost your used plates if you are able to reduce waste in landfills.  Plus, items in landfills often are not biodegrading as rapidly if at all.
Remember that living green isn't just about reducing the impact on the environment but also the impact on you and your family.

Thoughts?  Ideas?  Leave a comment!

No comments: