Conserve Water or Save a Tree?

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@Genipher (5136)
United States
August 10, 2017 4:04pm CST
I've heard before that using paper plates is bad for the Earth--that it's not "green". But I got to thinking today, while eating chicken pot pie off my paper plate...which is worse? Destroying a tree by eating off of a paper plate or using up water to wash a "real" plate? For a small family or single person, the latter is probably best because there wouldn't be much water needed to wash the dishes. But our family of nine? It would take more water to wash up, so the paper plates are probably more Earth-friendly. I suppose we could do better...we could use our hands as plates or, as my daughter shared, use bread bowls in lieu of a platter as they did in medieval times. But then, the bread still needs to be baked in something and that something would need to be washed; and it might be awkward, not to mention painful, carrying around a handful of stew.... So what say you? Would you choose to save a tree or conserve water, in this instance?
9 people like this
11 responses
@JolietJake (51144)
• United States
10 Aug
Technically, the amount of water on Earth is supposed to remain static. You can't really 'use up' all the water, but theoretically all the trees could be used up.
4 people like this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
10 Aug
So it's okay for me to let the kids run the hose in the backyard for hours on end? Nice! Honestly, I forgot about that science tidbit (shameful, really, since the kids and I just learned about the water cycle this last school year!). Since water can't really be used up, why is conservation pushed so hard?
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (51144)
• United States
10 Aug
@Genipher Because in some areas the low amount of water can make it necessary. Say point 'A' only has enough water for a year. You'd try to conserve usage as much as possible. Consequently, point 'B' has had nothing but rain for months and everyone is drowning...you probably aren't gonna worry much about trying to conserve it.
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
10 Aug
@JolietJake I'm in a Oregon so I tend to not think of conserving water... Though in the summers I remember my dad conserving water because they had well water. There were times the well would go dry and he'd have to drive into town and fill up on city water.
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (25393)
• Atlanta, Georgia
14 Aug
that's a hard one, we're depleting out resourses whatever we do but I never use paper plates and neither do I use a dishwasher because it uses too much water and electricity.
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
14 Aug
Our children are our dishwashers. I agree, though, dishwashers use up a LOT of water.
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (25393)
• Atlanta, Georgia
15 Aug
@Genipher I agree that children make good dishwashers.
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
16 Aug
@RubyHawk If they only agreed, as well, eh?
1 person likes this
@rebelann (41384)
• El Paso, Texas
10 Aug
I'd go with real pots n pans n plates, that paper plate ends up in a land fill and that ain't good either.
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
10 Aug
In the past, we used the paper plates as kindling for our fireplace. But then our chimney had issues and our landlord still has to fix it. Not to mention we don't use it in the summer. Doesn't paper break down rather quickly?
1 person likes this
@rebelann (41384)
• El Paso, Texas
11 Aug
Paper plates are treated with all kinds of chemicals so no it's going to break down the way regular paper would @Genipher
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
11 Aug
@rebelann Ew. I didn't realize...I'm not sure I want us eating off of chemicals.
1 person likes this
@toniganzon (49989)
• Philippines
10 Aug
We have lots of bananas here and we can use banana leaves as our plate. That without having to destroy the tree and used up the water!
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
10 Aug
That's a perfect solution! I love it!
1 person likes this
@toniganzon (49989)
• Philippines
10 Aug
@Genipher Just realized my tree was three hahaha! Edited it. Still getting used to the butterfly keyboard.
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
11 Aug
@toniganzon I knew what you meant.
1 person likes this
@marguicha (94880)
• Chile
10 Aug
I like to wash the dishes, but I don´t let the water run as I used to. And I don´t use as many dishes as I did. Years ago, we used a small dish just to put your napkin on it.
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
10 Aug
I confess, we tend to let the water run more than we should, which means we're not really conserving water or saving trees... Do you use cloth napkins?
1 person likes this
@marguicha (94880)
• Chile
10 Aug
@Genipher Not anymore, but I used to, for most of my life. I do dry dishes and the like with cloth mantels made with old tablecloths. And I gave away my dryer several years ago and only wash clothes when there is sun or if I can hang them to dry inside when the heater is on.
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
10 Aug
@marguicha I love hanging clothes on the line. Makes them smell soooo nice! My daughter and I have thought about making cloth napkins. We just need to stop procrastinating and do it.
@Platespinner (16520)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
10 Aug
What about the water used in pulping the wood to amke the paper?
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
10 Aug
Doubleplusungood!!
@MALUSE (40263)
• Germany
10 Aug
That's a tough one. I think the answer depends on where you live. There are countries with constant droughts and countries with enough water.
1 person likes this
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
10 Aug
That's true. We're in Oregon and we tend to have a lot of water. I didn't think about this aspect. Perhaps, since we have an abundance of water, it would be better to use real plates.
@Tracy04 (10838)
• Malaysia
11 Aug
I choose both, I guess
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (157737)
• Switzerland
11 Aug
As we have plenty of water here, I will surely decide to save a tree, not to mention that washing does not create "garbage" to collect. Also garbage collection pollute.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug
I would use as little water as possible in this case.
1 person likes this
@kepweng (14956)
• Waikoloa, Hawaii
31 Oct
nice photo is these in your places??
@Genipher (5136)
• United States
31 Oct
Ah, I wish!