October 11th, 2011

Project Green Challenge: Going From Disposables to Reusables

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Go Green

Teens Turning Green is a student led movement that educates and advocates for environmentally and socially responsible choices.  About a year ago this amazing group of teenagers went head to head with the giant retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch. They were outraged that A & F was mandating their teen employees wear a fragrance containing phthalates, linked to asthma, allergies and hormone disruption.

Teens Turning Green are back in the spotlight again. This month, from October 1- October 30, they are working to inspire the next generation to change “from conventional to conscious” via a 30-day green lifestyle challenge.  Every day during the month of October a new green challenge is posted on the Project Green Challenge site.  There are all sorts of incentives ranging from a Green Diploma to becoming a Challenge Champion.  It’s their hope that the participants will discover how fun, easy and effective eco living can be.

I’m not delusional-I know I’m not a teen. But I am dedicated to going green one small step at a time.  So I thought I would join in the fun and check out the challenges (I’ve also been trying out the challenges for  Change the World Wednesday).

TAKE THE CHALLENGE-  Day 9: Going from disposables to reusables

This challenge is about defining what a disposable is and then finding out the impact of disposables on our world.  Each challenge has a green, greener, greenest and extra credit option. Since this was my first challenge I decided to stick with the “basic” green challenge. The challenges change every day…and there’s no going back.

What is Your definition of disposable?

Something is disposable when it’s created solely for convenience and can easily be tossed after one use.

5 ways that single use products impact our health and our planet.

  1. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces about 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of garbage a day, or a total of 29 pounds (13 kg) per week and 1,600 pounds (726 kg) a year.
  2. Each year, enough trash – most of it plastics – floats down the Los Angeles River to fill the Rose Bowl two stories deep. (Los Angeles Times, “Altered Oceans”)
  3. Along with single-use plastic bags, plastic bottles are among the most prevalent sources of pollution found on our beaches. (Ocean Conservancy).
  4. The extremely slow decomposition rate of single-use plastic bottles leaves them to drift on the ocean for untold years.
  5. Recycling single use products won’t fix the problem. The bottom line is recycling rates are low. Before we recycle there are two things that need to happen:We need to reduce the amount of disposables that we use and we need to find a way to reuse or repurpose the disposables that we have.

Then I was asked to take a short survey:

  1. Will you commit to 24 hours of no single use items starting when you wake up tomorrow morning? YES
  2. Will you commit to carrying out this change of practice for the next 30 days? YES

WHAT I HAVE ALREADY DONE WITH REUSABLES:

WHERE I NEED IMPROVEMENT:

  • I need to find a better option for my “green” toilet paper
  • I need to remember my reusable bags more often
  • I would like to switch to cloth produce bags instead of the plastic option at the market

Are you ready to sign up for the Project Green Challenge? What reusables are you already using?

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9 Responses to “Project Green Challenge: Going From Disposables to Reusables”

  1. Great post! Love to see young people taking action! I also need improvement in the same areas as you, especially cloth produce bags. I can never remember to bring my bag along! Great post! And good luck to TEENS TURNING GREEN on their mission!

  2. Hi Tiffany! I agree-it’s great seeing teens empowering other teens. I wish this group was around when I was a teen!

  3. Very cool! I wish there had been a Teens Turning Green group when I was a teen. I would have been all over that! :)

  4. I feel the same Andrea-if only it had been around when I was a teen. That’s why I’m jumping on board as an adult!

  5. […] spend a lot of my time sharing small, simple ways to make a big difference. Switching from disposables to reusable products-napkins, bags and lunch boxes-are simple ways to make a change that has a big impact on […]

  6. […] are everywhere.  I finally figured out a system for remembering to take them with me. I leave the larger grocery style bags on the passenger seat in my car. I also carry smaller bags in my purse so they are always with […]

  7. […] boxes as waste-free as possible.  Instead of using single-use items in their lunch boxes try using reusables: a reusable water bottle, a reusable napkin and reusable bags for snacks instead of single serving […]

  8. […] of paper products and plastic utensils. How about mixing it up a bit this year and adding in a few reusable products in place of those single-use plastic and paper products? Using reusable cloth napkins, stainless […]

  9. […] This amazing mom and daughter team started Teens Turning Green and Project Green Challenge. Read their inspirational story over at Healthy Child Healthy World and enter Project Green Challenge-I did! […]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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