Archive for May, 2009

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” +Rethink and Renew

You are probably familiar with the three “R’s” of environmental stewardship: reduce, reuse and recycle. In the last number of years, it has been heard almost daily in our lives. Now, there are some new ‘R’s’ being added like rethinking how we do life and renew with the arrival of renewable energy.

Really, what we can do best for our planet is to use less of it. At the heart of the environmental crisis is our consumer society. Regrettably, because we live in this “disposable society,” we are encouraged to buy the latest and greatest items even if there is nothing wrong with the one we have. When buying something, we should buy items that are durable, and we should maintain them and have them repaired when necessary. If we do this, many things can not only last a lifetime, but can be passed along from generation to generation.

Here are a few questions you can ask before you buy:

Do I, or whoever I am buying this for, really need it?

How long will it last?

Are the materials used to make this renewable?

Is there another product that would do the same thing and be more sustainable?

Where was this made and under what circumstances?

If it is disposed of is it environmentally friendly?

If something gets to be truly unusable for its original purpose, try being creative by thinking of how else it might be used. When you are done with it, think of who else might be able to use it.

So let’s look at the R’s.

Reduce:

Reduce the amount of the Earth’s resources we use.

Today it is in everyone’s best interest to reduce their ecological footprint to help conserve dwindling natural resources and reduce the environmental impact our society creates.

We can do this by reducing our use of plastic drink containers–water bottles and polystyrene cups. Use your own reusable coffee mug or water bottle at home, at work or on the go whenever possible.

Reduce your use of electricity: Unplug all home appliances that do not need to run full time (not refrigerators and freezers of course) but more than half of the energy appliances use is consumed while they are turned off yet still plugged in and kept in a ready state. And it’s more then our entertainment electronics that this applies to.

Reducing the amount of water we use isn’t only for times of drought. We cannot afford to waste this precious resource at any time. There are many ways we can achieve this.

Reducing means that we also need to choose things with the least amount of packaging possible.

Reduce may mean… having fewer new things but this will save you money and reduce pollution and the waste going into the environment and by having this attitude you can green your living and make a difference

Reuse:

Reuse means extending the ‘life’ or repurposing an item rather than discarding or throwing it away.

Reuse means… thinking “can it be used again?” before you throw things away. If you can’t reuse it, maybe someone else can. Swap, sell or donate items such as toys, clothing, furniture, sports gear, tapes and records. By having this attitude you can green your living and make a difference.

Recycle:

Recycle means… can the materials be made into something new?

Recycling is the processes of collecting, processing, remanufacturing, and reusing materials instead of discarding them. This helps conserve raw materials and energy that manufacturers would otherwise use in producing new products. Recycling also reduces the amount of material going into landfills. Recycling helps lessen the pollution that may result from waste disposal. Examples of things that are often recycled are glass, plastic, newspapers, aluminum cans, used motor oil, and batteries.

Waste, and how we choose to handle it, affects our world’s environment — that’s YOUR environment, everything that surrounds you including the air, water, land, plants, and man-made things. We all know we need a healthy environment for your own health and happiness so you can understand why effective waste management is so important to YOU and everyone else. By recycling you can green your living and make a difference.

Rethink:

Rethinking the way we do life is how it all begins. It’s only through rethinking your part in initiatives of reducing, reusing and recycling, you can green your living and make a difference.

Renew:

Fossil fuels and metal ores, such as tin, are among our “non-renewable” resources. We will come to the end of them someday and we can’t predict when that will happen. By choosing to use product from renewable resources like ethanol and plantation forests etc. you can green your living and make a difference.

The concept of Reduce Reuse Recycle is applicable to any sphere of life, whether in the home front or in our industrial sector. Today there is a noise of green and green-washed marketing so much so that people may be overwhelmed by the right things to do. But with 83% of people saying they would change their consumption habits to make tomorrow’s world a better place, there is hope in the future. Here at Green Your Living we will try and encourage you to make green habits both easy to do and worth keeping.

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