Trash Update: Cost of Convenience

Due to the recent Climate Talks in Paris, I thought I should go through my trash. I've recently been terrified by the red smog alert in China. I can't imagine living in a world like that, can you? 

Nine months of trash from zero waste blogger

It got me thinking about the cost of convenience. It's very convenient to ship everything to your door and throw away all of the packaging. It's very convenient to buy individually wrapped snacks for your kids lunch that they throw away at the end of it. It's convenient to buy a plastic water bottle and toss it at the end of your day. But, what's the cost of convenience? 

Zero waste isn't just about fighting to keep this stuff out of landfills. And, it definitely isn't about recycling. It's fighting to reduce our need and dependence for these types of "conveniences." Did you know 10% of the worlds oil is used to make single use plastic? (According to Ed Humes author of Garbology.)

That broccoli tag. Who designed that!? Terrible.  

That broccoli tag. Who designed that!? Terrible.  

Single use plastic is cheap plastic that's meant to last for one use i.e. takeout containers, to go cups, plastic cutlery, what's wrapped around your groceries, etc. It boggles my mind that people think it's more convenient to drill the earth for oil, ship it to a refinery, refine the oil, make it into plastic, shape the plastic, assemble it, ship it to a distributor, then stock it for you to buy on a shelf. 

And, while I can prattle facts off to you all day, the fact is you need to see it. This is what we've done. This is only something we can fix. 

We as consumers have to make the choice to support clean energy, to support sustainable practices, to refuse single-use plastics. Vote with your dollars - that's where they'll hear you. The earth cannot keep up with our current demands. We can't replenish our resources fast enough. We used all that we could safely replenish a year - at the beginning of August. That's five months we're borrowing from next year. Which begs the question - how long until it's gone? 

What you do matters. You can't just throw it away - there is no away.

If you're looking to reduce your waste please check out my posts on food, the workplace, college, and the home. Or check out some more trashy facts


Everything You Need to Know About Bidets

Bidet Curious? 

Bidets aren’t popular in America, but they’re incredibly popular almost everywhere else in the world.

Ever since Justin heard about Japan’s Happy Toilet, he’s been dying to get one. 

Since buying the house, we’ve been doing some home upgrades that are better for the environment. We got a new low flow toilet and a bidet attachment. (It’s really difficult for me to write this post without giggling like a little kid) The attachment does not use electricity and only cost around $50.00.

I would highly recommend buying one both for cleanliness and saving toilet paper. Even if you’re renting, you can take the attachment with you so you won’t lose your investment. It’s very easy to install and uninstall. 

Everything you need to know about bidets from Save trees, be more sanitary, be zero waste!

Bidets originated in France in the 1700’s. We've graduated from hand application to water pumps to modern remote controls. Bidet attachments, in America, are most popular with the elderly, people who suffer from arthritis, or anyone who has difficulty turning.

They help cut down on urinary tract infections, passing diseases and wash things away rather than wiping bacteria in and around your skin. It’s just much more effective and sanitary, I promise. Plus you'll be saving toilet paper and water (a roll of toilet paper takes 37 gallons of water to make!) 

How does it work? 

The dials control the temperature and the strength of the water stream. A small stream of water comes out of the back and sprays around and/or in your butt hole to wash away anything that may be left behind after you finish your business.

Ladies, if you lean forward, you can also clean your vagina - optimal for that time of the month. 

Bidets help keep you clean and cut back on toilet paper. Save the environment and be healthier! Most zero waste option.

So what’s the real dirty scoop: 

Americans use 8 million tons of toilet paper a year. Natural forest habitats that have been around for 100’s of years are being destroyed to keep up with demand. We cannot create and re-grow that biome fast enough to make-up for the emissions.

They aren’t using recycled products, they’re using virgin pulp. If every US house used just one roll of 100% of post-consumer recycled TP a year it would save 423,900 trees! That is huge! 

More disturbing facts: most toilet paper is bleached. In this processed, it is steeped in dioxins and furans.

Both have been linked to cancer are poisonous to you, me, waterways, soil, and the food chain. Side effects include: hormone alterations, immune system impairments, reduced fertility, and birth defects.

 Try and opt for unbleached toilet paper. 

Make a better toilet paper choice. Wrapped in paper and 100% tree free. As close to zero waste as you can get!
Make a better choice! 100% recycled material and unbleached. Better for the environment and better for you. As close to zero waste as you can get!
Make a better choice! 100% recycled material and unbleached. Better for the environment and better for you. As close to zero waste as you can get!

People wonder why we’re seeing so many health problems, but look around us. Harmful chemicals are present in so many things we ingest and absorb.

We’re introduced to 1000’s of unseen chemicals every day. And, while we shouldn’t be terrified of everything, we should be looking for ways to reduce out exposure to harmful chemicals where we can.

What do you think about the bidet? Would you try one?