Friday, July 10, 2009

Reduce comes first for a reason


Earlier this week, I was telling Itinerant Cryptographer how impressed I was with his most recent purchase.

"You bought reusable water bottles for the boys. That's great!" I enthused. "You don't normally buy stuff like that."

"It wasn't my idea," he responded. "The boys made me do it. They wanted their own water bottles. And they wanted to write their names on them."

I've been recycling water bottles for years -- lots and lots of water bottles -- generating lots and lots of material to be recycled. During those same years, I've recited "reduce, reuse, recycle" without giving much thought to the order of the words.

"Reduce" is first for a reason. Reduction of waste -- reducing our footprint upon the earth -- should be the first step. Once we reduce what we use, we don't need to reuse or recycle nearly as much. And I have an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old to thank for that realization.



Interestingly enough, as I was posting this, I found this in my in-box from my friends at Celebrate Green:

... We've been asked "What is the biggest money saving green tip you can give us when celebrating during the summer?" The answer is, tah dah ... do not buy beverages bottled in plastic. Filtered tap water anyone? Fresh, homemade lemonade?

What do you suppose people did before we had plastic? They used jugs, often of glass or glass bottles. Before you purchase anything in plastic for your picnic or barbecue, think about this: Every year Americans buy 50 billion single-serving plastic beverage containers. Most plastic bottles (approximately 77%), end up in landfills. Add to this the expense as opposed to making your beverage or filling jugs with filtered tap water and this is an eco-idea that's a no brainer ...
For more eco-friendly tips, head on over to Celebrate Green. You can enter your own "wee green tip" in their Wee Glee gum contest. You could win eight boxes of "all-natural, gluten-free chewing gum."

Image adapted from a photo taken by Kristen Holden, through a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

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