Going green – Thirty minutes on the treadmill forevery in the landfill

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Going Green in Wichita Kansas Article            Article By Page InTyme © 2007      

I’ve never quoted a commercial before, but I’ve never been so inspired. The visual is a very fit woman running on a treadmill with a disposable bottle of water, in the ever so convenient cup holder. It is the caption, however, that makes this commercial so effective, “30 minutes on the treadmill….forever in a landfill.” I’d call it a stroke of genius, but it is so incredibly obvious that it is humbling, to think how evident this should be.

We would all be much more conscientious if there were no landfills and we knew we would have to keep our trash at home and live in it…… we would change immediately! So instead of just swallowing the lump in my throat and saying “well everybody else does it too,” I went GREEN! Or should I say I’m going green. So for everyone that says “I don’t know how to go green” I have the answer- the 3 Rs:

Recycle, Re-use and Rethink. I plan to live by these 3 Rs and I know it won’t be easy being green, but I won’t give up until I’m as green as Kermit the frog.

1) Recycle One of my favorite ways to start Sunday morning is lying on the floor in my jammees with a cup of fully leaded java, reading the Sunday paper. (Please, no comments about my jammees.) When I learned that “Americans throw away the equivalent of more than 30 million trees in newsprint each year” I was horrified! After all living in Kansas we all know every tree is sacred. Instead of adding another trash can to fill the earth I’m adding recycle bins. There are trash collection companies who offer curbside recycling. Various Dillons stores provide recycle bins behind their stores for paper, aluminum and plastic. Recycling also helps save the rainforest. Try buying your milk, juice and other products in something besides plastic. If you don’t think recycling is worth the effort try thinking about the fact that Americans produce about 31/2 pounds of garbage per person per day. This means a 150 pound person will leave behind 90,000 pounds of trash. The last thing I want my tombstone to read is “buried with all the trash, she and her generation produced.”

2) Re-use Lunch boxes and Tupperware should replace paper bags and baggies. Starbucks will deduct 10 cents when you bring in your mug and most stores will give you a nickel for every cloth bag you bring in and use, instead of using their paper or plastic bags. Now I’m old and it takes time for me to change my bad habits, so I keep the bags in my car. I’ve had to run out to the parking lot a few times. So please be patient if you get stuck in line behind someone like me, after all we’re trying to help the planet you live in.

To really speed up your green level you can use cloth or vinyl bags you already have or buy bags online when you make a donation at www.environmentaldefense.org or call 1-800-684-3322. If you aren’t ready to go this green yet….most stores offer the option of recycling plastic bags. Have you noticed how many “DISPOSABLE” plastic water bottles are everywhere? Truly they can be recycled, but how many people actually recycle them? This is a problem easily corrected. We simply need to make the effort use re-useable water bottles or the water fountain .

3.) Rethink Are you doing everything possible to help the environment? Change from paper to online billings, payments and statements. Call and request companies send you their ads, magazines and coupons via email. Remember, the price of a stamp is almost fifty cents, endless amounts of email are included in you internet cost. Read labels, many products are made with recycled materials. If your everyday products are not contact the company or switch products. Carpool and organize errands to use the least amount of gas. Ask your favorite restaurant to switch from Styrofoam, which is not recyclable, to paper. Pick up trash when you see it or it may end up in lakes, rivers, or even the ocean, where it is potentially deadly. Call and stop all the unwanted faxes at your office and set out a scratch-paper box. Talk to your kids. Their receptive and its amazing what they know. My ten old referred me to www.earthshare.org. This website has everything from recycling cell phones to seasonal earth friendly tips. Remember the words of The Lorax, “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

I know I’ve produced a lot of trash over the years. It is still out there and will be long after I am gone, but for now I’m here and I want to change.

Finally, there is the basic, rather old fashioned idea of just buying what you really need, and not everything China and the rest of the world tries to sell to you. Somewhere along the line in the education our forefathers secured for you, you may recall hearing or reading these words, “promote the general Welfare, ……….. to ourselves and our Posterity.” I’m sure the delegates of the 1787 Philadelphia Convention never dreamt of the widespread and rippling effect these words would have on future generations. I can only be grateful for their insight and do my best to promote the general welfare to ourselves and our posterity.

Article Copyright © 2007 Anesthetic and Plastic Surgery PA and Paige Intyme

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