Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


When I think about recycling or trying to be “greener”  the three R’s are what pops into my mind.  It was drilled into me as a child, but in everyday life it starts to be easier to just not think about it while chucking the old and buying the new and cheap.  There’s a really great short internet film about this called, “The Story of Stuff.”  I really like her videos, and if that doesn’t make you Rethink (another R!) your choices perhaps one of her other films will:

The Story of Electronics

The Story of Cosmetics

The Story of Bottled Water

( I watched this one a couple of years ago and I have almost never bought bottled water since)

I’m pretty good about throwing recyclables into the blue bin, but here are a few of the things i did instead of what I would normally do…which is throw it away or buy new:

I borrowed a tool

I remembered to put bags in the car to use them at the grocery store… huge victory in my world 🙂

I reused old jars and food containers in place of Tupperware

I donated old clothes and Repurposed some as rags

I sold items on craigslist

I composted more regularly (more on that later!)

I mended… I mean Repaired stuff :  4 socks, two shirts, one pair of shoes, and one belt!

I took pictures of things I wanted to buy instead of buying them ( I started doing this in Japan.  Even though I sometimes feel silly in the store, I have saved myself from so many impulse buys!)

I planned out and combined my errands so I used less gas… I am bad at this one in general.

It’s not like I think these are huge contributions or that I single handedly will be saving our environment.  I like to think about it like compounding interest.  Little bits of change that add up to a lot of change over a lifetime.  It makes a difference with money and training and learning languages and pretty much everything I have tried to get better at.  So I think it will make a difference in this case too and if it doesn’t… it probably won’t hurt!


“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”

-Albert Einstein*

So in the end just ask your self a few simple questions before you go out and buy new stuff or throw away the stuff you already have… Can I reduce this waste, can I reuse this item, is it recyclable?  Make it a habit and you’ll be saving muhla along with the environment!

p.s. If you aren’t the most handy maybe one of these will be opening near you:

Repair Cafe


* p.s.s.  There is some debate over if Einstein said this and how he meant it… but I still like it 🙂


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