And Two for Tea
You're supposed to sing those two versus up there, in case you didn't realize. If you didn't sing it the first time, please go back and do it again. I'll wait.
Today's change has to do with tea. But I bet you already guessed that. You're smart like that. Anyhow, I've decided to swap my daily dose of IBC Root Beer with iced tea. You may wonder why. Or you may not. I'll tell you anyhow.
As you know, we went on vacation over the holidays. As you don't know, this meant that I missed our bi-weekly recycling pick up and now have an entire month's worth of recyclables sitting in my garage. It is an OBSCENE amount of waste. Recyclable waste, yes. But waste nonetheless.
I spent a good portion of 2007 trying to minimize the amount of non-recyclable trash our household generates. And between the diligent recycling, the shunning of non-recyclable plastics and the composting of foodscraps and tissues, I managed to get us down to one 13-gallon trash bag per week. That's pretty good, especially considering where we started. But now it's time to focus on the recyclables. Because even though these items are (hopefully) given new life as different products, they are using up a lot of fossil fuels to do so. [sidenote: if you want to see where some of our recyclable plastic ends up, check out Beth's recent post about the recycling facilities in China]
And so, this will be the first of many steps I take to reduce the amount of recyclables I put out at the curb. By switching from a bottled soda to home brewed tea, I'll be removing 7 -10 bottles a week from our recycle bin.
Alas, it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to my sweet IBC. Farewell fond friend. You shall be missed. But it was either you or the Woodchuck cider and to be honest, I'm pretty sure you'd choose the same.
My IBC was sold in glass bottles with non-recyclable metal caps. They were packaged with heavy duty cardboard and sold in packs of six. The total weight of each six pack was approximately 3.5 pounds. My Lipton tea bags are packaged in compostable bags with strings attached by a metal staple. Each is wrapped in a paper bag and 24 are packaged in a lightweight cardboard box. Total weight of each package is approximately 10 ounces. I add my own tap water.
So you can see, I am cutting way down on recyclable bottles. The small staple is about 1/10 the size of a cap. And, for every 24 servings, I'm saving roughly 13 pounds in transportation weight. This doesn't even touch on the fact that I'm eliminating the need for the corn syrup, which is a whole other post about Dow and pesticides and such.
Now just imagine how much greener my next batch will be when I find someplace to buy loose tea and can just reuse a cheesecloth bag or something!
Difficulty Level: 2 out of 5
I will miss my root beer. And, to me at least, iced tea has always been a summer drink so it will just feel weird drinking it in January. But today was warm and sunny here and I made my first batch ever of winter sun tea.
And believe me, it tasted a lot better than it looks. Now if I can just figure out how to make the cider.....
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
And Two for Tea