Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Drifting towards “green”

Posted in frugal by Kathy on June 10, 2008

I’m not that much into environmentalism. In fact, I think a lot of the people who are environmentalists are kinda wacko (but then, these are the people who get on the news because of their outrageous stunts, so I know these are not representative of all environmentalists. At least I hope so). However, I do a lot of things that are environmentally friendly, simply because it is also more frugal. For instance, I buy used clothes and toys instead of new (less packaging, plus it saves the used items from being put in a landfill). I use cloth diapers most of the time (although I’ve heard some people try to say that disposables are no worse for the environment, once you factor in the washing, etc., of cloth diapers — but I just can’t buy that, when I consider that cloth diapers can be used in so many other ways once the kids are out of diapers, and they are completely biodegradable, whereas disposables will be in landfills for a very long time). I also try to buy in bulk and buy most of my groceries that I need at once, so I can cut down on trips to the store. It saves me money to save fuel, but it also helps to cut down on using petroleum. (Fwiw, here is a list of all different types of products made with petroleum. I thought it was pretty cool!)

So, all plastics are made with petroleum. I’ve heard that before within the past year, but honestly didn’t know it before. Sometimes, you just never think about where stuff comes from. I learned it in a commercial that urged reusing and recycling plastics, as well as reducing your use of plastic, as a way to reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil, as well as just to simply reduce the amount of oil used annually. But I haven’t actually done anything different about it. Until now.

It started when I noticed somebody on my local freecycle offering to make reusable grocery bags from old T-shirts. So that got me to thinking — I can do that! (Plus, with the cost of gas what it is, I figure that any less petroleum we can use, the better.) So I started with an old pair of husband’s shorts (not underwear — shorts). I did it yesterday (hand-sewing it, because I forgot to get my mom’s sewing machine the last time I was there), and I think it’ll work out pretty good. I’ve got another pair of shorts and a T-shirt that I will try to make into another couple of bags today. In the meantime, I’m going to take my old plastic bags back to the store with me and reuse them if they’re not torn already. We live in a pretty rural area, so I don’t think there are any recycling facilities close by. I reuse the plastic bags for everything else anyway, but I’m getting more bags than I’m using, and I simply don’t need any more. I don’t want to throw them away, but I certainly don’t want them cluttering my house.

I’m just one person, and not using the “free” plastic bags at Walmart and the grocery store may not be much, but it’s a step in the right direction.


One Response

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  1. dayzofrain said, on June 11, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Its great to take small steps. They move you forward right? I look at it as not joining the new “trend” or “Fad” but rather I view it as being a good steward of what God has provided. Most of the waste we have really is because stewardship is the last thing on our minds.

    So Good for you!

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