Reduce, Reuse, and lastly Recycle

When you think about reducing your carbon foot print, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I’m guessing it’s “Recycling” am I right?  Recycling, at least where I am from, is the poster child for saving the planet. Recycling is everywhere, everybody is doing it, and feeling good about themselves as they happily dispose of their refuse into the proper bins. But before we get all high and mighty on our pedestals made of the recycled remains of the spoils of consumerism, stop and remember the three R’s. Reduce, Reuse, and last, and most certainly least, Recycle.

A few of you may be wondering why do we not have more Reduce and Reuse signs, reminding us of the first two R’s? Well, the answer to that is simple… There is NO MONEY to be made from you if you are Reducing and Reusing. However, there is a lot of money to be made from recycling. And so we have come back to our biggest obstacle in our fight to save the world, The Capitalist Society! You may remember we touched on this earlier in Vote For a Better World Every Day.  Recycling today is still energy intensive, and produces many of its own non-recyclable waste. But according to many studies, it is still better than any other disposal method. Read this article for more info. On the bright side, all the potential monetary gains associated with recycling, is driving the industry to look for more and better ways to recycle. So don’t stop recycling, just try and Reduce and Reuse first.

So in the spirit of focusing on solutions, I have compiled a  short list of simple ways to Reduce and Reuse for those of you who may need some inspiration.  And as always, please share your own ideas for Reducing and Reusing with us in the comments section.

  • Don’t forget your reusable water bottle, and grocery bags.
  • Buy non perishable foods in bulk and store them at home in reusable containers. The Captain likes glass and ceramic, because it reduces your exposure to toxins from plastics.
  • You can also put your leftovers in those nice reusable containers and do away with aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Both of which pose potential health risks.
  • Look for products sold in reusable bottles that utilize a bottle deposit system.
  • Try not to buy disposable items, like those little plastic toothpick/flossers that always break anyway. Or,   if you must, use something compostable like a wooden tooth pick.
  • Try out a Water Pick to help reduce your floss usage. Also check out this SILK DENTAL FLOSS!!!
  • Don’t buy items that are individually packaged or sold with excessive packaging.
  • Bring your own mug or thermos to the coffee shop. I like the Klean Kanteen thermoses for on-the-go coffee missions.
  • Instead of buying plastic cups and silverware for your parties, use your dish ware and then ask your guests to help with the dishes after. Or ask guests to bring their own. If they are offended then they don’t deserve to come to your parties anyway.
  • If you must use disposable dish ware, try out Tater Ware, or any of the many compostable options available today.
  • Use paper lanterns at your party instead of balloons, they look super classy, the kids love them, and you can reuse them over and over again.
  • STOP buying plastic bags and baggies(like Ziplock), use your containers or a nice wax paper. The Captain likes these a lot. Bees Wax Food Wraps
  • If you need a resealable bag for your snacks, try out a bio bags, they make a bag for just about everything and they’re compostable.
  • Instead of dry sheets, which have a host of toxic chemicals, try out some Wool Dryer Balls, they work great. If you still want some fragrance you can add a few drops of essential oil to your woolly balls.
  • Start a compost pile to reduce the amount of waste that you produce.

This is just a small selection of the many and varied ways to reduce and reuse in your life. I have personally tried all of these products (except for the silk dental floss, but it’s on its way) and recommend them all. Please share your own ideas with us in the comments below.

Yours truly and enthusiastically,

The Captain, Enthusiastic

5 thoughts on “Reduce, Reuse, and lastly Recycle

    1. Excellent question! The Tater Ware does require a commercial composter. The exact text on the BioBag package is “Compostable-for use in municipal facilities where applicable” fine print says “Appropriate facilities may not exist in your area. To locate a facility, visit http://www.findacomposter.com. May not be suitable for at home composting depending on your composting method.” Sounds like some experimenting is in order.

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  1. I’m moving in the right direction, but too slowly. I need to bite the bullet on many of the above suggestions. I really believe I should print out the above list and give myself stars for improvement and/or mastery.

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