Fine, Call Me A Tree Hugger.

Originally, I had started this post because a friend (or frenemy, rather) brought up the idea that reducing my carbon footprint means nothing. I, as one person, am not going to change a single thing. Buying organic toothpaste, recycled paper towels, or a Brita filter will do nothing but cost me more money than if I were to purchase regular merchandise. However, I beg to differ.

  • If every family in the country purchased one package of 100 percent recycled napkins instead of regular, it would save 1 million trees.
  • Last year, the US used over 39 billion (yes, billion) plastic bottles–enough to circle the globe 190 times. Each Brita filter can save up to 300 of those bottles from being tossed in a landfill.
  • By replacing one box of 48 ounce petroleum-based powder laundry detergent with Seventh Generation’s vegetable-based detergent, we could save 96,000 barrels of oil–enough to heat 5,500 houses per year.
  • It takes 75,000 trees to print one run of the New York Times Sunday edition. Read news online.
  • The average grocery shopper uses between 500 and 1,200 plastic bags per year. Buying a couple reusable bags from your grocery store will save those bags from resting in landfills.

Anyway, those are just a few things I can personally do that A) make me feel like I’m making a difference, B) don’t take a lot of effort, and C) show how one person can, in fact, change the world. My goal for next weekend is to actually buy a sorter for my paper, plastic, and aluminum waste that I can keep in my kitchen. My apartment complex does not have a recycling facility, but there is one exactly 4.2 miles away. That is my next step in becoming a little more eco-friendly each day. Not to mention, we keep our townhouse at a whopping 64 degrees, unplug the electronics, and reuse our water glass each night. And perhaps down the road, an environmentally friendly wedding theme will be in the picture. Basically, I want to do good. I want to see others doing good as well. I’ve joined the Green Team at work, and would like to see one established in my neighborhood. To sum it up, at the risk of sounding completely cliché:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi

5 thoughts on “Fine, Call Me A Tree Hugger.

  1. Thanks Jurisatheist. I was legitimately curious to how that would go and I failed to factor in the different type of jobs that would be created by the following on the internet.

  2. I want to address Carla’s job question. As far as the NYT, NY Post, Washington Times, or any other news paper is concerned, job-losses due to internet readership is inevitable, as it decreases a need for certain jobs (printing, delivery, etc.). The company will then have to hire workers to maintain the servers, edit, control advertising, etc., which are traditionally higher paying jobs. However, the issue of newsstand jobs lost is actually not an issue at all. Yes, sales of newspapers will be down, but the newsstand makes marginal profit from the sales of newspapers. Their proverbial bread & butter is the sale of candy, gum, other food items, and high mark-up items. Newspapers have a set printed price by the printing company, while the other items’ prices can be easily adjusted.

    As to the issue of going green, I see it analogous to voter apathy. “I can’t make a difference with my [vote]/[green initiatives].” If enough people say that, the opposite is true. A thousand 1 meter steps translates to 1 kilometer.

  3. I have a thought to add though, or perhaps a question, to go with the New York Times Sunday Edition reference. Would causing more people to read news online cause job loss? I mean, the NYTimes could charge a person to read online but what about those news paper stands? Or how about the people that don’t want to/have a computer to take on the go with them. [i would imagine it easier to read a newspaper in a subway than pulling out a laptop; which i don’t even own]. Just an added thought. Not really an argumentative comment

  4. I didn’t feel like putting my email and everything in here so that I could leave a comment =-P but here…

    I agree I definitely think it makes a difference and exactly like you said if every person does things like that even just a few times it’s less trees and oil being used, and it’s definitely less harsh on the earth.

    Happy now 😀

  5. I read an interesting fact last week. If every person peed during their daily shower, they would save around 600 gallons of water per year. Imagine if your entire household did this. Or a community. This simple act which doesn’t cost a dime to anyone can save abundantly. Keep up the good work! I believe your actions DO make a difference. And by speaking out about your actions you are inspiring others to make small changes!!

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