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MAKING EARTH DAY EVERY DAY

- EARTH DAY IS APRIL 22ND-
THE BIG PICTURE

If you live on this planet, chances are you've already heard a lot about the shape it's in: sick and getting worse fast.

EVERY DAY SHOULD BE EARTH DAY,
A BETTER WAY

Here's how we can do it differently..and make a difference:

  • Buy shampoo and other products with as little packaging as possible. Look for reusable or recyclable containers made of recycled materials.

  • Use replaceable razors instead of disposables. Not only will you save room in overcrowded landfill, you'll save money too!

  • Check the color of cardboard packaging -- if a box is pure white, chances are it's not made from recycled materials. An earthy gray or brown is a good clue that it's been recycled. Even better is a "made from recycled materials" sign on the package.

  • Avoid single-serving products. It's excess packaging. It's better to buy a big tin of cocoa, for example, than to use single-serving packets. Probably less loaded with preservatives and sugar, too.

  • Buy refillable pens and recycled pencils, notebooks, and paper, Check the back of notebooks for the recycled logo, If you have trouble finding recycled school supplies in your area, look up some great catalog companies that carry a whole line of recycled stationery.

  • Be aware that longboxes, the kind most compact discs used to come in, are a good example of bad packaging. The record companies thought longboxes would be easier to display and would discourage shoplifters. Some top musicians, like R.E.M. and Bonnie Raitt, have put pressure on recording companies to change this wastefulness. So most companies have switched over to more ecologically sound CD packaging by losing the longbox.

  • Tell salespeople to hold the bag when shopping. Then put your purchases in a backpack, tote bag, string bag or whatever is your bag.

  • If you and your friends all read the same magazines, why not try trading or sharing subscriptions? You'll save money and help the earth.

  • Resist buying faddish clothing that will go out of style before it wears out. That's a waste of your money and the earth's resources. Instead, why not buy practical clothes made by a company with a good social record?

  • Animals are part of our environment too. Avoid lotions and perfumes made form animal by-products. There's a good chance animals were killed just to produce such products.

  • Same goes for buying jewelry, shoes, or other articles made from endangered species such as certain reptiles, elephants (ivory), or tortoises.

This is a pretty long list. No one expects you to be able to do it all. Even if you choose to make just one of the changes suggested here, you'd be helping the earth more than you realize.

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE -->

The above is an excerpt from the book Students Shopping for a Better World from The Council on Economic Priorities (CEP).

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