I’m fortunate that through my work, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about how to make more environmentally-friendly choices in my everyday life that are also safer and healthier for my family. Far and above the best lesson I’ve picked up along the way is: Small, easy changes can make a difference.
Over the last week, to get members of my Go Green Team of Norwex consultants into the Earth Day spirit, I challenged them to make one change: Stop using disposable drinking straws. The damage to the environment one-use straws cause is pretty astounding. Just consider, Americans use more than 500,000,000 straws daily. That’s enough to wrap around the planet, twice! Those straws are not recyclable and every single one ends up in our landfills and oceans. (Check out this video to get an idea of the extent of the problem.) The good news is that it’s easy to say “NO” to disposable straws because there are great, eco-friendly alternatives out there, including the Norwex Stainless Steel Straws (See our April customer specials for a great deal on the Pitch the Plastic Pack, which includes the drinking straws.) I’ve been thrilled to see how many of my team members have embraced my challenge!
But this is one one example of a small change anyone can make. Here are some others highlighting products that you could pretty easily say “NO” to for the sake of our planet:
- Plastic water bottles — We know plastic water bottles are overwhelming our landfills. Instead: Try reusable glass water bottles. With Norwex’s Bottle Brush and EnviroSleeves (also a customer special in April), cleaning out bottles, jars and other glass containers becomes a breeze!
- Paper towels and disposable cleaning wipes — There is no need for these landfill cloggers! With just Norwex’s EnviroCloth, Window Cloth and water, you will be able to take care of any cleaning job, without creating waste or adding more chemicals to the environment. When following the proper care and use instructions, our cloths have the ability to remove up to 99 percent of bacteria from surfaces. Plus, because they are made with Norwex’s exclusive, self-purifying BacLock formula, they will never get gross, moldy, and stinky like most kitchen sponges and cloths.
- Single-serving coffee pods and tea bags. Between 1986 and 2012, leading manufacturer Nespresso estimates it sold 27 billion coffee pods globally. Imagine how much new waste was created! Instead, use a pot with a reusable filter to brew coffee and tea. Norwex’s Magnet Ball prevents calcium from building up in dishwashers and washing machines, resulting in softer water and requiring up to 70 percent less detergent — making it gentle enough for just about any coffee or teapot.
- To-go containers. Take-out is a great time-saver, but those non-biodegradable Styrofoam containers are a disaster for landfills. Most will still be there in 500 years. Look for restaurants that offer recyclable or compostable containers. Better yet, bring your own containers and cover them with Norwex’s Silicone Lids for an eco-friendly airtight seal that will keep your food warm!
- Disposable coffee cups. Did you know that if you buy just one cup of coffee or tea in a disposable cup every day, you’ll end up creating about 23 lbs. of waste in one year? Consider that with that cup come also come plastic lids, stirrers, and straws. That’s a lot of waste. Instead: Bring your own reusable cup and top it with a Norwex Silicone Cup Lid to keep your coffee hot.
- Plastic grocery bags. The U.S. uses about 100 billion plastic bags per year, with the average person using between 350 and 500. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, just 2 percent of those are recycled. The rest are left to live on in landfills or decompose in oceans. Instead, bring your own reusable grocery bags. The Norwex version with BacLock stay good-as-new for longer!
If you would like to learn more about minor changes that can have a major impact on our planet and our health, visit the Norwex Movement website. I especially love their Safe Haven House for room-by-room tips. If you have any questions about Norwex products, please drop get in touch with me.