Many people know of the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
These actions reduce how much is thrown away, the use of natural resources, landfill space and energy used. They are listed in the order of importance for the environment.
Recycling has become a regular practice for many. Services are available in most communities. It definitely benefits the environment but is last on the list.
Reusing is fairly common. Second hand stores, garage sales and give-aways are evidence of this.
What about reducing? The most important ‘R’ doesn’t get a lot of attention.
Everything we have comes from the Earth so if we use less there is less damage to our life support systems.
Reducing is good for the Earth but it isn’t very good for the economy. It needs people to consume products and services and does better when more is used.
Recent events in the world have caused people to reduce how much they use. Many have less to buy things with. The economy is suffering.
There has been evidence that this reduced activity has benefited the planet. There has been less air pollution, fewer greenhouse gases and reports of wildlife returning to habitat they had left because people were using them. It did not fix the problems but gave the environment a break.
Now is a good time to think about being kinder to the Earth as people find the new normal.
Important questions are: Do I really need this? How can I use less? Could I rent instead of buy? Can I repair what I have? Should I pay a little more for one that will last longer?
Let’s not miss this opportunity for change.