Durable Goods

A Thought to get you going: “Each man thinks of changing the world, but not one thinks of changing himself.” -Leo Tolstoy

Most of the materials that go into making what we use — from airplanes to toilet paper — are made from nonrenewable resources that are being rapidly depleted. U.S. reserves of oil, aluminum ore, and iron ore are disappearing. At today’s rates of consumption, world copper reserves will be depleted in less than 100 years. The world’s forests are falling quickly under loggers’ saws.

This month’s message: Use Durable Goods!

Replace the disposable goods in your life with durable goods to minimize your impact on raw material consumption and on the landfill. Here are some examples of substitutions that will make a difference:

Bring your own cloth bags to local stores. Even if you just bring one, you could save one paper or plastic bag per shopping trip! One year’s worth of average plastic bag consumption in the US requires an estimated 12,000,000 barrels of oil. (Check out the cloth bags available in the Simple Living Institute Store!)

Avoid Styrofoam. Each year Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam cups. Use a travel mug or ceramic mug for hot beverages at work, and carry a Tupperware container to restaurants for leftovers.

Avoid taking out more than food: Refuse and resist unneeded plastic utensils, napkins, straws, and condiments when you buy take-out foods. Take your own container to pick up take-out.

Replace paper goods with cloth goods. Use cloth towels or rags instead of paper towels, and cloth napkins in place of paper napkins.

Other examples of durable goods:
Pencils (compost the shavings)
Fountain pens
Durable razors
Cloth diapers
Refillable lighters

Stop wasting today to help save tomorrow!


Resources on the Web:

Fast Facts about Reusable Bags
Green Home Online Store
WorldWise Guide: How to Reuse