There are so many things we use and choose in our daily lives that we never give much thought, but those little choices “add up” and maybe, just maybe, those little things amount to a great big deal.
Here are ten crazy, little facts I’ve discovered that you can consider the next time you need to make one of these choices:
- ATMs – don’t get a receipt if you don’t need it. Annually, these receipts use enough paper to stretch two billion feel long!… and then get thrown away. (Same goes for gasoline pump receipts!)
- Books – borrow from the library or buy secondhand. 400,000 trees are needed to print books annually.
- Candy & ingredients – buy the loose bulk kind instead of the wrapped and packaged versions. The majority of the wraps and papers are not recyclable and can be heavily treated with chemicals.
- Luggage tags – buy some! Americans alone use paper tags, from ticket counters, equivalent to sixty million sheets of paper each year. And request e-tickets to save even more paper.
- Matches – choose paper matches over wood matches or lighters. They’re often made of recycled paper, whereas wooden matches require 5.5 million trees per year and lighters create harmful and toxic landfill waste.
- Music – consider music downloads instead of buying CDs… every month 45 tons of unwanted CDs wind up in landfills.
- Napkins – take only what you need instead of grabbing a whole stack and then throwing them away, unused. If everyone took just one less it would keep a billion tons out of the landfill annually.
- Pens – buy the refillable kind. The US discards 1.6 billion disposable pens each year and a refill is no more expensive that a disposable pen.
- Q-tips – buy the kind with a paper spindle instead of plastic…they’ll actually biodegrade, the plastic won’t.
- Voicemail – answering machines in the US use two billion kilowatt hours annually and then create electronic trash when they stop working. Sign-up for voicemail with your phone service provider.
There are plenty of things in our daily lives that deserve the mantra “don’t sweat the small stuff”, but these are truly little choices you can make without ever breaking a sweat!