Monday, 8 September 2008

Reducing is better than reusing or recycling

I have decided to switch to paperless bills from my bank. Instead of getting my bills in the post, I'll only get them in my email (at least HSBC offers this service). With this simple step, I'll be reducing paper use.
I thought about this after reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saving the Environment, a very interesting book that provides a basic overview on the environment, global warming and other threats and, more importantly, ideas on what we can all do to help. The author says something very obvious but that I have never thought about (sometimes, I'm a bit slow...) It's much better to reduce, than reuse or recycle something. If we reduce the amount of paper (or plastic, or whatever) that we use, then it won't be necessary to reuse it or recycle it.
Why is recycling more popular then? First, because it's easier for everyone to recycle something after using it than stop using it. Also, it would obvioulsy be a disaster for some companies if we all decided to stop using some of their products, rather than still buying and later recycle them.
Of course, for things that we need (or really want), reusing and recycling are the next best options!

1 comment:

frame red said...

I guess the real challenge of promoting an ´eco friendly´ life that can be adopted by the majority, is that it mustn´t impact (much!) on our current easy living standards. Otherwise people won´t see why they have to adopt these new ways ... if this is indeed possible! Maybe the message should be more about what eco living can do for you, as well as what eco living can do for the world, so that we can see the effects in our everyday lives, rather than apocalyptic messages coming from the scientific world. It has to be tangible thing, so that we can see the benefits in front of our eyes. But change is occurring, and eco living isn´t far from the news, as new technologies embrace and advance more ecological ways, change is heading in the right direction. Maybe we (in the western world) have been living an unrealistic, unsustainable and charmed lives, and perhaps eventually it will have to be brought back down to earth?

We also need to be careful that the message is honest, truthful and teaches the right message that has a good base theory rather than teaching accepted theories. We all know about recycling, we all learnt it in school, but this post brings to light that reducing is more effective! An interesting post that makes you question what you already know about helping the environment, and shows just how much this reader (me!) didn´t know!