Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's the small things that count ...

There is a wonderful green site called "Our Green Year". On day 295 of the authors' green journey, they gave up bubble gum. Yep ... bubble gum. They explained that the ingredients probably weren't fair trade, organic, healthy or Eco-friendly and that the packaging was ... well ... over the top. Bubble gum is waste with a capital "W".

That got me thinking about all the small packages that we come across ... those tiny packets of sugar, salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, seeds, tea, tissue, sewing materials, etc., etc.

Remember when restaurants put a container of sugar on the table for patrons to use at their discretion? Many restaurants now use a container of various sweetener packets ... each individual packet holding a pre-measured amount of sweetener.

How about fast food restaurants? When you want some ketchup with those fries, you'll probably be given little, individual ... yep, you guessed it ... packets.

It doesn't end with restaurants. There are many stores that promote buying items in large quantities to save money. The basic concept of buying in bulk is great ... unless those items are individually wrapped, then wrapped together, then boxed or covered with plastic.

For example ... go to one of the warehouse type stores (I won't mention them here) and you're sure to find toilet paper with each roll individually wrapped or a few rolls wrapped together and then put in a huge plastic bag together with other "groups" of wrapped up rolls. It's a lot of waste and turns "buying in bulk" into mere "bulk".

So, today's tip is easy. Pay close attention to the items you buy and the things you use. If the item comes in small packets, see if there is a different option. For example, instead of buying spices in individual, one meal packets ... buy large containers of the mix or ... make your own (there are recipes for almost every spice blend on the Internet).

If you have a choice at a restaurant, choose the sugar, salt, etc., that comes in a container rather than a packet.

Are you taking fast food home? Use the ketchup you have at home instead of the small packets.

Put together your own sewing kit instead of buying those small, match-book kits.

Good things may come in small packages ... but they are just as good in bulk ... and there is a lot less waste. It's a small thing ... but it counts!

As always ... I would love to hear from you.