Friday, January 1, 2010

Green month fact 1 and maybe 2 and 3....

Thanks to seventh gen, I read this fact with every roll of TP I open up:
"If every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of 1,000 sheet virgin fiber bathroom tissue with 100% recycled ones, we could save:
*469,000 trees
*1.2 million cubic feet of landfill space, equal to 1,700 full garbage trucks
*169 million gallons of water, a year's supply for 1,300 families of 4

Did you know that paper towels, TP, office paper, etc is chlorine bleached to get that white color? These products contain by-products of that bleaching (not to mention it all gets dumped into the environment during the process), which are serious carcinogens. When buying EVEN recycled paper products, look for "processes chlorine free" (PCF). Seventh generation is a good one for this.

Let's take this a step further and look at diapers. Most Americans go for speed and "whatever's easiest" while paying no mind to the environmental impact. Disposables are one of the biggest fillers of our landfills, taking 100-500 years each to biodegrade (which they can't completely because they are made with a petroleum which cannot break completely down in nature and goes into our water systems and into our bodies). This means that every single disposable diaper ever made, used and thrown away is STILL TRYING TO DECOMPOSE. The average baby goes through 5,000 diapers before potty trained. I'll let you do that math.

What they don't know (or do and don't care) is that, not only does it have a huge environmental impact, but also, the chlorines and chemicals that go into producing, bleaching the diapers leach into baby's skin causing diaper rash (babies who are cloth diapered RARELY get diaper rash!) and are also being linked to reproductive disorders and cancers later in the child's life.

I've heard the argument "but cloth diapers need to be washed and that's environmentally harmful". Well, here's what I say to that. READ! How do you think disposables are made? With billions of gallons of water and chemicals. Having a baby requires laundry to be done every couple of days anyway, and they are never full loads. Diapers can be washed in those loads, minimalizing extra water useage. Use eco safe detergents to even lessen the impact on the earth (and baby's skin). Crunchy clean makes a good one specifically for cloth diapers, and there are lots of yummy scents created by pure essential oils (not chemical scents) that are easy on skin.

That's my soap box for the day. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to be informed. Ignorance is not bliss. It leads to disease, toxic living environments and the rapid death of our rainforests and precious planet.

Happy new decade!


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