Rather than Recycle…

While recycling has its merits, it is not a silver bullet. Better yet is to reduce the consumption of things that should be recycled. The New York Times reports Back at Junk Value, Recyclables Are Piling Up:

“The economic downturn has decimated the market for recycled materials like cardboard, plastic, newspaper and metals. Across the country, this junk is accumulating by the ton in the yards and warehouses of recycling contractors, which are unable to find buyers or are unwilling to sell at rock-bottom prices.”

Another strike against recycling is that it is an energy-intensive process. So when we talk about Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, REDUCE is really the first choice.

Easy ways to make a difference:

  • Buy items with minimal packaging
  • Bring a reusable bag to the store
  • Use refillable bottles instead of buying bottled water
  • Buy recycled products to create a demand for them

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3 Responses to “Rather than Recycle…”

  1. steph Says:

    Packaging is a huge issue. I don’t get why more isn’t made of that especially regarding children’s toys.

  2. Joe Says:

    Japan needs a major wake up call on this. It’s astounding how much they overuse plastic for any kind of packaging. All the day-to-day item shops use plastic bags, while clothing stores and the like use paper bags and sometimes nicer plastic bags.

    For food products they wrap a whole lot of small items individually, like crackers in a bag individually wrapped, bagging some already double plastic-wrapped grocery items (meats, premade meals) in extra little plastic bags within the plastic carry-out bags. Part of the reason is that dry/crunchy foods go soft pretty quickly in this generally humid climate.

    My grocery gives reward points for not using their bags, but I’ve never seen anyone else bring in a bag, reusable type or not.

  3. Kathy Says:

    I love using my kleen kanteen like the one featured in the photo, carrying it to work each day with fresh filtered water.

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