Small Town Simple

The Simplicity Adventures of a Mother and Daughter

To Choose and Change

AluminumReduce, Reuse and Recycle – this is a common phrase that we’ve become accustomed to as we find ways to live in a greener world.  And to continue the thought I might add “Restore”, or better yet, let’s not buy it in the first place!  I’ve got it…Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Restore and Recycle.  Has anyone said that before?  Probably.  But I’m sitting at Lauren’s dining room table writing while my sweet grandson naps and I’m having this conversation with myself (it is only in my head, not out loud) about what I can refuse to buy before I have to get to the reduce, reuse and recycle part.

For some time I’ve wanted to eliminate aluminum foil from my home.  Years ago a long time friend of mine said she didn’t use foil because it didn’t degrade in our landfills.  I’m thinking she told me that because I probably asked her for her foil as we were cleaning up from a meal.  I’ve never forgotten what she told me regarding foil and landfills and every time I buy a roll, I cringe just a little.  So I’ve decided to challenge myself. and see if I can live without aluminum foil.

Foil was invented in 1910, replacing tin foil in food storage because of the metal taste the tin projected onto food.  The lack of a metal taste and the pliability of aluminum made it a very popular product, so much so that today 75% of aluminum produced is used for packaging food, cosmetic and chemical products.  The remaining 25% is for industrial use.  Additionally, records indicate it can take decades to 400 years for aluminum foil to degrade when discarded as waste that journeys to our landfills.  So my friend was basically right because any way we look at it, decades to 400 years is a long time.

If I want to NOT use aluminum foil, what am I really trying to do?  I’m rethinking exactly how I want to live which includes breaking a habit.  This one is a habit of convenience.  I’ve always used foil.  But no longer!  And now knowing the little I have left on a roll will take decades to degrade, I might be carting around that remaining foot for a very long time!  Will I have to get a little more creative in the kitchen?  Yes.  But I’m willing to try.  While there isn’t a great monetary savings to eliminating foil I am aware that the little things do add up.  My real challenge includes living more simply, buying one less thing that makes its way into my home and doing one more positive thing for the environment.

I truly believe we all have little opportunities to make our life simpler, add a few more pennies to our piggy bank and determine a way that we can make a difference.  While your challenge may not be foil, I encourage you to find a way to choose a different path, to keep something that really isn’t necessary from crossing your threshold.  These tiny little changes?  They are empowering – so choose and change!

xo, Carolyn

Leave a Reply