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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002516/00001
 Material Information
Title: Enviroshopping
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Hammer, Marie
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1991
 Notes
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Publication date: May 1991"
General Note: "HE 3167"
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00002516:00001


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FactSheetHE3167 TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanequalopportunity/affirmativeactionemployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,age,handicap,ornational origin.Forinformationonobtainingotherextensionpublications,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/JohnT.Woeste,DeanEnviroshopping1 MarieHammerandJoanPapadi2Youhavetremendousinfluenceintheboard roomsofAmericancompanies.Theylisteneachtime youopenyourwallet.Theywilllistenwhenyousay ``Reduce,Reuse,Recycle.''Theywilllistenwhenyou ``RejectandRespond.''Asanenviroshopper,consider theenvironmentwhenyoucomparetheconvenience, thecostandthequalityofyourpurchases.Youwill feelproudthatyoudid``therightthing''foryourself andfuturegenerations. Grainsofsandmakemightysanddunes,andbits oftrashmakemountainsofgarbage.InFloridawe throwawayabouteightpoundsofgarbageperperson eachday.Thenationalaverageisabout3.5pounds perday.TheFloridarateisincreasedsomewhatby thetrashfromourvisitors(about35millioneach year). Whatisthesignificanceofthisgarbage?When wethrowitaway,itgetsburiedatthelandfillor burnedforelectricity,andweneverhavetothink aboutitagain,right?Wrong!Excesstrashaffectsus inmanyways,evenlongbeforeitbecomestrash. Thereispotentialdamagetotheenvironmentwhen therawmaterialsareminedordrilledorextracted, andthentransportedtothefactory.Airandwater pollutionoccursduringmanufacturing,storageand transportationofthefinishedproductstotheretail store. Sinceenergyisusedineachofthesesteps,there areenvironmentalconsequences.Fromcoal,oilor gas-firedelectricalenergy,therearelargeamountsof harmfulatmosphericpollutants.Thetransportof fossil-basedfuelscanalsodegradetheenvironment, suchasoilspillsoccurringintheocean.Andthe productionoffossil-basedfuelsaffectsthe environment,aswhencoalisstrip-mined. Hydro-electricpowerisnotwithoutits environmentaleffects.Tocreatethepowersource, thousandsofacresoflandaredammedupand flooded.Asaresult,theriverecologyandwildlife habitataredestroyed.Nuclearpower,too,produces radio-activewasteforwhichwehavenotyetfounda solution. Mostpeopleareawareoftheenvironmental damagepossiblewhendisposingofwastebylandfill orburning.Fewpeoplerealizethatcreatingaproduct suchaspackagingfromrawmaterialscausesmore environmentaldamagethandisposingofit.The damageisadirectresultofthelargeamountsof energyconsumptionassociatedwitheachproduct. Whenthesolidwasteisplacedinalandfill,it continuestoaffecttheenvironment.Landfillsthat werebuiltbeforetoday'sstrictstandardswentinto effecthavethepotentialtocontaminatewater supplies.Littercontinuestoblightourroadsand highways.Somediscardedproductsharmwildlife, bothonlandandinwater. Excesstrashalsowastesresources.Theraw materialsweusetomakeourpaper,plasticandother materials,allneedtobeconservedforfuture generations. 1.ThisdocumentisFactSheetHE3167,aseriesoftheHomeEconomicsDepartment,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFood andAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida.Publicationdate:May1991. 2.MarieHammer,HomeEconomicsSpecialist,HomeEconomicsDepartment,andJoanPapadi,formerHomeEconomicsExtensionAgent, CooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida,GainesvilleFL32611.

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Enviroshopping Page2Thirtypercentofourhouseholdwasteis packaging.Butwecan'tjustdowithoutit.Itisa necessarypartofourmarketinganddistribution systems.Itperformsseveralfunctionsasit: protectsfoodfromlight,heat,oxygen,natural contamination,tampering.Itpreservesfoodand preventsfoodwaste. protectsconsumergoodsfromcrushing,spoiling, andshoplifting. protectschildrenfromingestingdrugs,and hazardouschemicals. informsconsumersofproperuse,storage, features,andwarranty. providesforeasierwarehousing,transportation, anddistribution.Canbehandledwithlarge mechanicalequipment. providesconveniencetotheconsumerinreadyto-eat,single-serving,disposableand microwavablefoods. encouragesquantitypurchasessuchasmultipacks. appealstotheeyeoftheshopperanddrawsit awayfromcompetition. attractsshopperwithlargersizepackagesanduse ofmoreshelfspace. Packagingvarieswidelyinitsefficientuseof materials.Muchpackagingisdesignedfortheutmost efficiency.Somepackaginghowever,isexcessive. Excessivepackagingwastesenergyandvaluable materialsandcontributestothewastedisposal problem.Someoftheimprovementsmadefor conveniencesakeortoincreaseshelflife,may producepackagesthatusemorematerials,orare moredifficultorimpossibletoreuseorrecycle. Theamountofpackaginggoingintothewaste streamCANbereducedsignificantly.It'suptoyou. Doyourpart. BeanEnviroshopper! Followthefive ``R's''ofenviroshopping: REDUCE theamountofpackagingyoubuyand throwaway. REUSE and RECYCLE wheneverpossible. REJECT packagingthatisunsatisfactoryand RESPOND toproducersandretailerstoletthem knowhowyoufeel.REDUCEWeconsumershavebecomehookedon convenienceandpaymillionsofdollarsforit.We prefertobuysixteenone-usespraybottlesfullof ready-to-usespraycleanerratherthanasinglebottle ofconcentratetomixonourown.Why?Becausewe likenomuss,nofuss,``convenience!'' Enviroshoppersarewillingtogiveupsomeof thatconveniencetoreducetheirgarbageproduction by PRECYCLING.Whenyouprecycle,eitheryou chooseproductsandpackagingwithless environmentalimpact,oryoudecidetodowithoutit andjustdon'tbuyitatall.Ifyouneverbuyitand bringitintoyourhomeinthefirstplace,thenyou don'thaveto``manage''it.Youdon'thavetofigure outifitcanbereusedorrecycled,andyoudon'thave todisposeofit. Inthetablesection, Table1,Summaryof NationalEnergySavingsfromPackagingReduction, showstheimpactinenergysavingsofvarious packagingreductionactionsbyconsumersand industry.Reducingallpackagingingeneralcouldsave theequivalentof sevenmillion barrelsofoileach year.Imaginesevenmillionbarrelsofoilgoingupin smoke,creatingmassiveamountsofairpollution,all toproducepackagingthatwethrowaway.Your precyclingactions will makeadifference. Enviroshopperscomparetheconvenienceofa producttoitsenvironmentalimpact.Insomecases youwillneedtheaddedconveniencethatonlya certaintypeofpackagingcanprovide.Butwhere convenienceismarginal,orisnotthatimportantto you,choosinglessisbetter,fromanenergy, conservationandenvironmentalpointofview.REUSEPresentdaypackagingisawonderofmodern technology.Itisoftendurable,versatileand attractive.Wheneveryoucan,thinkofwaystoreuse packages.Reusewillsaveyouthemoneyofbuyinga replacementitem,itwillsavetheenergy,materials andlandfillspaceforFlorida,andreducepollution.

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Enviroshopping Page3Herearesome``reuse''examples: Coveranoldwoodenboxwithfabric,adda cushiontothetop,andyouhaveanewstoolto siton. Drawstringmeshcitrusbagsmakegoodlaundry bags.Hangoneondoorknobineachchild's room.Theymightusethem!Useonlyfor childrenoldenoughtohandlethestringsafely. Frozenandconveniencemicrowavefoodsoften comewiththeirowndish.Reusethesedishesfor makingyourownconveniencemeals.Whenyou cook,cookextraoruseleftoverstorefillthe dishes,wrapinfreezerwraporplaceinafreezer container,andyouhaveyourown``instant'' meals. Plasticbagsandwrapscanbereusedforstoring items. Packingmaterialssuchaspolystyrene,plastic quiltingandsimilarpackingmaterialscanbe savedandreusedforthesamepurpose. Plasticcontainerscanbereusedforfoodstorage, alsoforscoopsandwateringdevices.Glassjars canhelporganizenailsandtacksandother householdandshopitems. Callyourlocalsocialserviceagencies,suchas schools,childcarecentersandseniorcenters,to seeiftheyneedemptycontainersforprojectsfor theirclients. Packagingprovidesanexcellentresourceforyour creativity.Youhavepaidforityoumightaswell makeuse(andreuse!)ofit.RECYCLERecyclingisanimportantpartofourwaste managementstrategy.InFloridaespeciallyweare requiredbystatelawtoreduceoursolidwaste throughrecycling. Recyclingalsosavesenergy.Producingpackaging materialfromrecycledstocktakeslessenergythan makingitfromnewrawmaterials.Inthetable section, Table2,Energy-SavingPotentialby Recycling,showshowmuchenergyissaved. Aluminumyieldsthegreatestenergysavings.In fact,ifafamilyoffoursavesforcansadayforayear, theywouldsavetheequivalentenergyingasolineto drivea30-milepergalloncarabout2,000miles.We cannotaffordtowasteeitheraluminumortheenergy. It'simportantforeachofustorecycleasmuchas possible. Whatkindsofpackagescanyourecycle? Aluminumandglassarerecyclable.Somepaperand someplasticcontainerscanberecycled.Steelof``tin'' cansarerecyclable.Theyallareeasiertorecycle whentheyaresinglematerialpackages,ratherthana mixtureoftwoormoreinonepackage.Manyfood packagesaremadefromrecycledglass,aluminumand paperproducts.Recycledplastic,however,cannotbe usedforfood.Allplasticfoodcontainersaremade fromnewplastic.TheFoodandDrugAdministration hasnotyetapprovedrecycledplasticsforuseinfood containers. ClosingtheloopForrecyclingtosucceed,it dependsonyou.Youhavetoprovideusedmaterials tobecollectedandreprocessed.Butthatisonlythe beginningofyourroleinrecycling. Nomaterialis reallyrecycleduntilyoubuyitagainafteritismade intosomethingnew. Itisuptoyou,asan enviroshopper,tobuyrecycledmaterialswhenever youcan.Lookfortherecycledsymbolonpackages youbuy.REJECTEnviroshoppersreduce,reuseandrecycle.In doingso,theyalsorejectmaterialsandproductsthat cannotbereduced,reusedorrecycled. Forexample,youcanrejectpackagingthatuses morematerialthannecessary.Onewaytodothatis tobuythelargestquantitypossibleinonepackage. Twoquartcontainerscontainmorepackaging materialthanonehalf-galloncontainer.Somuch morethatif70millionAmericanhouseholdsbought ahalf-galloncontainerofmilkaweekinsteadoftwo quarts,theywouldreducepaperdiscardsby41.6 millionpoundsandplasticdiscardsby5.7million poundsayear.Thiswouldsave$145.6millionin packagingandmorethan1trillionBtu(British thermalunit)ofenergy,enoughtoheatandcool 7,500householdsforanentireyear. Youhavethemostpowerfultoolinoureconomy yourwallet.Whenshoppersstopbuyinga product,theproducersfindoutwhyandmake

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Enviroshopping Page4changestocomplywiththeircustomers'needs.Ifyou buyproductsandmaterialsthatarewasteful,harmful totheenvironment,orpoorquality,youaresending aclearmessagethatyouwantthesetobeproduced. Ontheotherhand,ifyoudoNOTbuythem,youare alsosendingamessage.Theproducerswilllisten, eitherway.RESPONDTherewillbetimeswhenyouwillnothavea choice:aproductyouwanttobuymaynotbe availableinapackagethatisrecyclableorreusable. Perhapsthepackageofyourfavoritebrandhasbeen redesignedtoincorporateseveraltypesofmaterials insteadofone.Perhapsyourgrocerdoesn'tstock concentratedrefillablecleaners. Ineachofthesecases,itistimeforthefifth``R'' ofenviroshopping: RESPOND.Startwithyourlocal storemanager.Lethimknowyouareconcerned aboutthesolidwasteproblem.Askhimtostock refills.Askhimtoofferlooseproduce.Encourage himtoconsidersourcereductionandrecyclabilityin theproductsheoffersforsale. Contactthemanufacturerofproductsinwhich thepackagesarenotrecyclableorareexcessive.You canrequestthatmanufacturersreducethetoxicityof theirpackagingthroughchangesindesignanduseof non-toxicinks,forexample.Youwillfindthename andaddressofthecompanyonthepackageofall consumergoods.Manycompaniesofferatoll-free telephonenumber.Lookforoneonthepackage,or contactyourlocalconsumeraffairsofficeorlocal librarytogettelephonenumbersformajor companies.Ittakesonlyasmallnumberoflettersor phonecallsfromconsumersformanufacturersto considerchangesintheirproducts. Youcanencouragesimpler,lesscomplex packaging.Canlabelinformationbeprintedona hanginglabelorpeel-offtag,ratherthanneedinga wholepackage?Perhapsasmalltagorbookletcould betiedtotheproducttogiveinstructionforuse,and eliminatethebox.Lesspackagingcansavemoneyfor themanufacturer,theconsumerandthewaste manager,andhelptoprotectourenvironmentand saveourresources. Encouragelocalgovernmentofficialstoinitiateor expandarecyclingprograminyourcommunity. Suggestthatgovernmentregulationsberevisedto allowforpurchaseofrecycledmaterialsformunicipal supplies.REFERENCESBecker,R.H.,ed. BecomeanEnvironmentalShopper. Media,PA:PennsylvaniaResourcesCouncil,1988 Chertow,M.R. GarbageSolutionsAPublic Official'sGuidetoRecyclingandAlternativeSolid WasteManagementTechnologies. U.S.Conferenceof Mayors,1989. FloridaDepartmentofEnvironmentalRegulation. SolidWasteManagementinFlorida,1989Annual Report. 10/89. LeBrun,M.A. HowIstheConsumerProductsDivision ofChevronChemicalCompanyAddressingthe PackagingSolidWasteIssue? Enviropak,'89,FirstInternationalCongresson PackageDisposability,Washington,D.C.March,1989. Love,P. EnergySavingsfromSolidWasteManagement. ResourcesPolicy,3/78,pp.53-69. SpecialReport. Packaging,Vol.34,No.11,8/89/ Stauffer,R.F. EnergySavingsfromRecycling. ResourceRecycling,Vol.VII,No.7,Jan/Feb1989, pp.24-25. Love,Peter. EnergySavingsfromSolidWaste ManagementOptions. (EnergyTable1.) Stauffer,R.F. EnergySavingsfromRecycling. (Energy Table2.) RoyJohannesen,MechanicalEngineeringSpecialist, EnergyExtensionService,InstituteofFoodand AgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida.Personal computations,4/90.

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Enviroshopping Page5 EnergyTable1. PackagingReduction Option PotentialEnergy Savings/Year(in barrelsofoil) GENERAL GeneralPackaging Reduction 7million RETURNABLE CONTAINERS Increaseinrefillable softdrinkcontainers 1million Increaseinreusable softdrinkcarriers 265thousand Increasein3-quart plasticmilkjugs 40thousand 10percentincrease incorrugated containers 490thousand PACKAGEREDESIGN Replacementof1/2 pt.milkpackwith Ecopack 2thousand Lightweight,new processesinsoftdrink containers 490thousand LARGERPACKAGE SIZE Increasingsalesof largersizesoftdrink containers 75thousand EnergyTable2. Material Recycled EnergySaved by RecyclingPer Ton Energy Equivalent (gallonsof gas) Aluminum 95% 1,915 Plastics 88% 695 Newsprint 34% 82 Corrugated24% 51 Glass 25% 31