I remember a time when I was in school — it must have been around fourth or fifth grade — when “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” was the mantra being drilled into our heads. These days, you rarely hear about reduce and reuse, but recycle is more famous than ever.
Reduce, reuse, recycle are in that order for a particular reason. The first step is to reduce your overall consumption of goods, thereby reducing your overall waste. Once you’ve reduced, you should attempt to reuse as much as possible. After something can no longer be reused, then it should be recycled, if possible. But somehow, we’ve skipped past the first two steps and landed squarely on the third. I would argue that reducing and reusing are far more important than recycling. In fact, it’s common sense! If you reduce your intake, then you’ll automatically reduce your output.
If you can, I strongly suggest you watch the episode of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit that deals with recycling. The main takeaway is that, because of a number of factors, recycling isn’t doing much good (except in the case of aluminum cans). Also, not only is there plenty of landfill space left in the United States, but landfills aren’t leeching poisons into the ground, and they produce methane, which is captured, refined, and used. I don’t think we should give up on recycling just because it’s inefficient; I think we need to figure out how to make it more efficient and more beneficial for the environment.
People also seem to think that being green will cost more money. I don’t know where this idea came from, but the vast majority of carbon-reducing measures I can think of also end up saving money. Pretty soon, I’ll have a list of ten easy, inexpensive, and quick things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.
In the meantime, what are you doing to reduce your carbon footprint?0 People like this. Be the first!