A case for using real stuff

Our society has become a disposable one. People buy coffee and toss out the cup. People spill milk and use disposable paper towels to clean it up. People buy water bottles by the hundreds and recycle or throw away the bottle. Plastic bags are given away at stores, and thrown into the trash. Fast food purchases include disposable containers, napkins and utensils. It is estimated that the amount of Keurig cups used in 2011 would circle the world more than six times. Parties are thrown using only plastic cups, plates and flatware. The list goes on and on and on.

In a quest for convenience, we are destroying our planet. As you go about your day, take notice of disposable items you are using. A disposable society is not a sustainable one.

If you went to any sort of party over the holiday season, my guess is you used plenty of items that were disposable if you ate or drank anything. Today I’m making a case for using “real stuff” for entertaining. This means real glassware, real silverware, real plates, real napkins, etc.

I know what you’re thinking, if you have more guests than you have these items, the only option is disposable, right? Maybe, but I think you should exhaust your “real” options first, and possibly borrow from family or friends if you are short. For example, if you are hosting Christmas dinner for 20 family members, count in advance how many place settings you have. If you only have 12 complete settings, consider asking a couple of people to bring over 8 of the items you are missing. Maybe your mom can bring 8 plates, your sister 8 forks, knives, spoons, etc.

Not only is this a better option for the earth, it sends a message to your guests that they are important enough to go to the trouble to use your real stuff. Let’s face it, doing dishes is not that hard and chances are if you host, someone else will offer to wash dishes and load the dishwasher. Eating and drinking from a real plate, eating off of a real fork, and drinking from a glass beats using disposable products all day long. It was not all that long ago that people could only use their real stuff; disposables just weren’t around like they are today.

And those water bottles? Not only are they terrible for our planet, they are a waste of money. Our water out of the tap is clean and safe. Stop buying them right now. Even if plastic water bottles are recycled, they are only turned into more plastic, which will inevitably end up in our landfills, lakes, or oceans someday. Your guests can drink water from the tap; to make it look nice, simply fill a pretty pitcher full of ice and water for your guests to fill their glasses.   

If you find yourself in a situation where you have no other option than to use disposable products, I urge you to do 5 minutes of research online to look for the most green, earth-friendly products on the market, and use those. 

I will leave you with this today: Start to notice everything that is disposable around you and think of ways to avoid using those products. Small actions add up, and incorporating them into your life, one at a time, is a great way to ease into a more “green” lifestyle! 

Read More on The Green Report
Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:59 AM, 01.19.2016