How can I *reduce* this?
While reusing and recycling is important, the first stage of the waste hierachy is the most important: reducing consumption of raw materials in the first place.
As most greenies know, the amount of energy reclaimed by saving something from landfill is only a tiny proportion of the energy required to have made the thing in the first place and then ship it around the world. By reusing things we already have – either fixing broken things or reusing some waste for a different purpose (as is the aim of this site), we’re reducing our requirement for those new things but we should really be reducing our requirements first, then reusing the things we still need; not just reusing things all the clutter we’ve gathered in the first place.
With this in mind, I’ve decided to try out a new feature on Recycle This: how can I reduce my use of this? if you’re in any way prone to procrastination, the thought of having to reduce everything can stop you doing anything: it’s a lot easier broken down into smaller steps. It’s pretty obvious how to reduce consumption of some things – that random plastic thing that you’re not quite sure what it is but my, it’s pretty (candle holder? bottle opener? plant pot?) from Ikea, just stop, that doesn’t need to be bought – but other things are sometimes a bit harder – and I thought it might be worth trying to get a bit of crowd wisdom/support for those things. And hopefully the suggestions will help other people with their reducing too.
So do you have anything you’re finding it hard to cut down on/wean yourself off? If so, drop me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to make this a regular thing. Conversely, if you found a really good way to cut back on something, get in touch – it might help someone else give up that same thing too!
We can kick off with one of my bugbears: