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Buy from Concentrate

Buying concentrated items such as soaps, detergents, and juices is more efficient, economical, and environmentally sound.

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Many of the products we buy are composed of just a handful of chemicals mixed with water.  As a result, many of the soaps, detergents, juices, and other items on our shopping list can be bought in concentrated form, which is much more efficient to manufacture and more environmentally friendly. 
 
Purchasing products from concentrate prevents extra waste of packaging and water. Recently, Wal-Mart announced that it will now sell only concentrated laundry detergent in their stores. Wal-Mart estimates that this will save approximately 125 million pounds of cardboard, 95 million pounds of plastic, and 400 million gallons of water.  Considering that Wal-Mart sells 25% of all laundry detergent used in the United States, this is a major step forward. 
 
Concentrated laundry detergents are just as effective as standard detergents, but require less detergent per wash, leading to smaller plastic containers and less water mixed with the cleaner. Similarly, buying one package of concentrated juice can provide just as much or more beverage, with the same taste as a regular container, but using much less water and packaging.  You can re-hydrate the juice with the exact amount of water that you need, therefore eliminating wasted water.  Concentrated products are simply non-watered down versions of the product, giving you more of what you are paying for and less water and using less packaging.  If we “concentrate” a little more on what we buy, our environment will be much healthier. 

 

Take Action / Next Steps
  • Learn more about the complexities in the debate between the relative benefits of concentrated and non-concentrated orange juice Brendan Koerner’s column from Slate.com .

 

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SOURCES :

1.Associated Press. [26 September 2007] “Wal-Mart Takes Green Approach to Detergent.” Available from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20993458/ [31 July 2008]

2.Bloch, Michael. [1 October 2007] “Laundry Detergent Concentrate Shift.” Greenlivingtips.com. Available from: http://www.greenlivingtips.com/blogs/146/Laundry-detergent-concentrate-shift.html [31 July 2008]

3.Byron, Ellen. [21 May 2007] “Selling Detergent Bottles’ Big Shrink.” The Wall Street Journal. Available from: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117970493855109027.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace [31 July 2008]

4.Earth 911. “Plastic Recycling Facts.” Available from: http://earth911.org/recycling/plastic-bottle-recycling/plastic-bottle-recycling-facts/ [17 July 2008]

5.Koerner, Brendan I. [19 February 2008] “Carton Vs. Canister.” Slate.com. Available from: http://www.slate.com/id/2184700/ [31 July 2008]

 
 
 
 
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