Foreva Straws: Basics of sustainability

Help save the planet by practicing sustainability and green living. Find out more about the basics of sustainability here at Foreva Straws. The basics of sustainability are the following:

1. Conserve what you already have. (Sounds simple, doesn’t it?)

2. Produce less “waste.” (Sounds easy too, doesn’t it?)

3. Recycle or repurpose whenever possible.

4. Reduce your consumption of raw materials. (A little more complex than recycling, but not much.)

5. If you still need to buy something, choose products that have been made as close to you as possible. (Helps with all five basic sustainability principals.) Let’s discuss each of these points in more detail: #1 – CONSERVE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. – This sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? How could you ever get into trouble by merely consuming what you already have? Not so. Ask any environmentalist. Our modern lifestyle has enabled many of us to have an abundance of goods and services. However, this doesn’t mean we should spend our entire lives buying and using more and more. After all, we do have an “abundance” of stuff, don’t we? Consider the following: There are approximately 350 million tons of steel in the world. In the year 2000, about 15% of that steel was recycled. What does that mean?

It means there is about 250 million tons of “dead” steel still left in the world.

250 million tons of “dead” steel represents 250 million tons of ore which could have been used to produce another 40 or 50 billion tons of steel. In other words, quite simply, if everyone in the world just used what they already had, we would be making 200-300 billion tons of steel per year. (That’s a big “if”.) Truth be told, only a small percentage of the world’s steel is recycled. But, that still means we’re leaving hundreds of millions of tons of it lying around unused. What else is sitting around doing nothing? An awful lot of it is cars, trucks, ships, homes, bridges, buildings, etc. So, the first thing you can do to help save the planet is to conserve what you already have. Now, I’m not saying you should stop buying things. What I am saying is you should only buy items when you truly need them. Don’t go shopping just because the TV tells you to. That’s a surefire way to spend more money than you should. And, don’t go into debt either. If you must buy something, try to “buy local.” This is where that second “s” in SUSTAINABILITY comes in.