Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Three "R"s

If you're a member of my generation, you heard about the three "R"s in school every April. It's the one time a year science teachers taught eco-friendly practices, thanks to the celebration of Earth Day on the 22nd. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

I'd encourage you to take a moment and think about 3Rs, and what each one means. And more importantly, appreciate them in that order. We ought to Reduce first, Reuse second, and Recycle last. Take for example, bottled water. The most eco-friendly option is to Reduce: fill a glass pitcher, or buy a water bottle (my favorites are Sigg and KleenKanteen, but more on that later). The next best bet, Reuse: If you must by a bottle of water, fill it up again, or use it for another purpose. The last choice should be Recycling. Yes, it's better than tossing the bottle in the trash, but it's still waste.

Let me suggest a 4th R...Replace. No one (unless you have unlimited cash) can be expected to go green in a day. I did not walk around my house one afternoon and bag up all toxic cleaners, paper towels, plastic storage containers, etc. What I am doing is replacing. As I run out of an item (or it breaks, etc), I make an effort to replace it with something more eco-friendly. Just used the last paper towel? Buy rags instead. Out of bleach-based toilet bowl cleaner? Try vinegar and baking soda or a more natural product. No more dryer sheets? Get some dryer balls.

Take a look at your shopping list...anything you can replace?


Kbreints said...

Yes, I will have to use that last R for sure! Thanks....

Anonymous said...

I just signed up at Paperbackswap.com and instead of buying a box to send a book I have been turning cereal boxes inside out and making a new box for the book. I got the idea from someone else but love it.