As I've been working on the Healthy Homes stories for this issue, it’s become clear there’s no way to separate a healthy dwelling space from the world around it. But we Americans are messy people, generating about four pounds of trash per person, per day. A good portion of that trash is plastic — shopping bags, bottles, straws — used once, then discarded.
I’ve read that just one reusable bag can eliminate hundreds or even thousands of plastic bags, but I’ve been slow to change my own habits (and looking at my fellow shoppers, it seems I’m not alone). I just couldn’t remember to grab the bags out of the back of my car. Recently, I decided to put the bags in the front passenger seat, where they slide all over — a perpetual, moving reminder. Believe it or not, there’s even an app that will chime and send you a text saying, “Don’t forget to grab your bags!”
So no more excuses. Next up for me is getting rid of toxic household cleaners and their throw-away containers — I’m stirring up the recipes in our “Make It Yourself” story (page 18) and putting my potions in reusable bottles. Baby steps.
On a much grander level, Meadow Ranch, a 55-plus housing development in Coeur d’Alene we wrote about a few years back, recently took home a Gold Achievement award for the Best Green Community in the United States. The National Association of Home Builders cited developers Dennis and Sharon Cunningham for their “efforts in energy and water conservation, sustainable building techniques… and keeping 95 percent of construction waste out of landfills.” If they can do it, so can we!
To your health!