There is a huge push globally to be more environmentally friendly. Huge gains are being made, and it’s amazing to watch. However, as western consumers I think we’re missing the mark. We’re buying things with more and more packaging everyday. Buying more throw away items. Cheap junk from the dollar store. This isn’t sustainable, and worse, we’re paying for it! You pay for the packaging and the junk inside it.
The best ways to save the environment are to reduce, reuse, recycle. Let’s break it down.
- Reduce: Stop buying junk. You don’t need a cardboard scarecrow for your front window during the fall season. Make a real scarecrow from materials you have. You can get free hay to stuff it from your local grocery store. It will last you longer than the piece of cardboard, that will probably get bent and creased after one season.
- Reuse: Jars, bottles, takeout trays. All of this stuff is looked at as a single use item that a product comes in. These are all good vessels for holding food (they were made to hold food), holding odds and ends, small items. Reuse these items once, and you’ll have been 100% more environmentally friendly than usual. Use it even more, and you’ll be part of the change the world needs.
- Recycle: Okay, you can’t use everything over again. You had to get something from amazon urgently, it comes with air bags inside to protect your purchase. Pop them, and recycle it as instructed. Save the box though, you never know when you’ll need one.
The less you buy, the better you are for the environment. Raw products use less energy to create than refined products. Buy more raw materials. Energy costs money.
Also, if some of the energy has been paid for already, you’ll pay less of the cost. I’m talking about buying used. Getting a used end table, toolbox, or whatever. Someone has paid for the initial cost of the energy. You pay again, but less thanks to the person who bought something they didn’t need.
Think about how much energy something has needed. How much work has gone into making that product versus the cost you paid for it? Lower energy cost items are cheaper. Put in the energy yourself, and you’ll save money.