In the average home this could be any of the following:
~Paper products – paper plates, serviettes, kitchen towel.
~Plastic products – Ziploc bags, cling wrap, shopping bags, water bottles etc
~Disposable dish clothes instead of wash and reuse ones.
~Menstrual pads and tampons
~Cotton wool cosmetic swabs
Did you know that for each of these disposable items there is a green frugal option that you can use to replace them. Some of the replacements are easy and you will probably be willing to attempt the switch, where as others may need a little more of a mind shift before you implement the change.
For example, if you are in the habit of eating of paper plates it will be an easy switch to ceramic. If you use paper serviettes, it is simple to opt for a pretty set of cloth napkins.
However it may be more difficult to switch from super easy disposable diapers to cloth nappies as it would be to switch from disposable feminine hygiene products to something like the moon cup or cloth pads.
The simplest way to make these changes is to make a list of all the disposable items you use in a week. Then choose the easiest ones to switch and begin each month to make the change.
Some figures for you to help you go green at home:
In the USA alone 27.4 billion disposable diapers are purchased each year. 92% of them are used once and then placed in the bin and this in landfill. It is estimated that it takes more than 200 years for a disposable diaper to break down. They also account for the bulk of all landfill.
It will take about 20 yrs for a plastic bag to decompose and it is thought that it will take more than 200 years for a plastic cup to decompose.
Feminine Hygiene Products
By simply doing the math, you can determine how many of these items you will use during your lifetime, if you are a woman of course! They are also a major contributor to landfill and have the same decomposition time as diapers.
About 128 cubic feet of wood will only produce 2700 newspaper sheets. Does this sound like a lot? How many people live in your town? How many of them buy a daily paper? Do the math! So while you cannot stop someone from buying the paper, you can make a difference in your own home buy reducing the amount of paper you use and then recycling what you can.