Week 3 Update

After two weeks of using as little as possible, I have found it very difficult to cut paper and bottle use out of my lifestyle. I have a klean kanteen, but I have been forgetting to carry it around with me, and when I go to the movies or somewhere, it is very tempting to buy into this terrible industry. Convenience is the major reason why people have a high carbon footprint. Bottles are everywhere and very convenient, but it is upsetting that people who buy bottles tend not to recycle them. According to Earth 911, there were 5.1 billion pounds of bottles and jars in the United States available for recycling in 2009, but only 2,456 million pounds of that were actually recycled. The saddest part is that this was a record high (http://earth911.com/recycling/plastic/plastic-bottles/facts-about-plastic-bottles/). If people for some reason can’t get it together to bring a reusable water bottle out, they should most definitely have the common courtesy to their planet to recycle it. Honestly, the laziness in throwing away plastic makes me sick. Even here at Lafayette, I see many oblivious students casually tossing their plastic bottle into a garbage can when there are recycling bins nearby. Recycling bins are not hard to find and there is no excuse for throwing away recyclable plastic.

Paper has been easier to minimize for me. Although I do print out major articles to highlight for class, I have really thought about things before I decide to print. I have been e-mailing my teachers papers instead of printing them, and then turning them in at class. However, paper is overused in so many ways. The most upsetting example I have noticed is junk mail. Even here at campus, I get so many papers in my mailbox that do not pertain to me. Luckily, there are recycling bins all around the post office so things can be recycled. However, it makes me sad to think of all the wasted paper that comes to my house at home in the form of credit card promotions or magazines and so forth. Although I would like to think much of it is recycled, it is upsetting that it had to be printed in the first place. Another upsetting factor of wasted paper is people not bringing reusable bags to the grocery store. I try very hard to remember to bring bags because the amount of paper and plastic wasted for grocery bags is appalling. This goes back to the convenience factory. It is easy for people to get wasteful bags at the store. However, my family tries very hard to always bring bags, and if we forget we try to reuse the paper bags at the store when we return.


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