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What Our Kids Can Teach Us About Recycling

Many of us are trying to do our part to help the planet. In our family we’ve seen that thoughtful consumption, use and reuse can also help us lead slower, less expensive, more purposeful, and more family-centered lives.

The biggest influence on my relatively green habits has been my daughter, Anna. From a young age, she showed great concern about our environment and the world she would inhabit. Plastic waste in the oceans and in our landfills upset her so much that she embarked on a lifestyle of extremely limited consumption of plastic, oil, paper and other non-local or non-sustainable goods, which she has followed for about the last 8 of her 17 years. She bikes to school and errands. She buys little and often reuses or upcycles clothing and other items.  She uses reusable bags, water and food containers, and water-bottle holsters, like these:

Through Anna I’ve learned that, as conscious as many of us try to be, there is much work to be done, if we really want to be good stewards of the Earth. We can try to use less plastic in general. When we do use plastic, we can recycle it. 70% of plastic water bottles are not recycled. In California alone, more than 2.8 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills.

According to National Geographic, Americans purchase 29 billion plastic bottles of water each year, far outpacing other countries. This takes 17 million barrels of crude oil to make.

That is enough fuel to keep 1 million vehicles on the road for a year.

Oil is precious .. and limited. The energy used to pump, process, transport and refrigerate bottled water takes an additional 50 million barrels of oil each year. The creation and transportation of plastic causes much of the world’s pollution. Bottles in the landfill take centuries to decompose and many end up on our beautiful shores and in our oceans.

With this in mind, I was happy to learn about Arrowhead Water’s ReBorn bottle, which is made with 50% recycled plastic. Most plastic bottles are produced new and are not made with recycled plastic. ReBorn bottles use 50% recycled plastic, only because there isn’t enough quality recyclable plastic for them to use 100%.

This video conveys the beauty of recycling and sustainability.

Will you pledge with me to use less plastic overall, and to recycle when you do? If so, click “Like” underneath the video, and share this information with someone else.

This post was sponsored by Arrowhead. The views expressed are my own.

Images: Susan Sachs Lipman, Arrowhead, Poor Planet

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