Hocking HIlls, OH –
What is waste reduction? It is simply trying not to use and throw away as much "stuff". How do we do this? Well, most people think recycle. But, this is really only part of the answer. Waste reduction and recycling really has 3 words that begin with the letter "R" Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
The first R word REDUCE means simply not purchasing and using/consuming as much stuff. It can mean using less toothpaste, shampoo, taking only the food you are really going to eat, not buying trinkety type things just to fill up space, purchasing classically designed clothes that stay in style longer (not trying to follow every fashion trend), using rags for cleaning instead of paper towels, having durable kitchen storage items that have lids so that you don't need plastic wrap or tin foil. The list goes on and on.
The second R word-REUSE means to simply reuse as many items as you can. It can mean purchasing clothing from a second hand store, buying used/antique furniture instead of something new (try Craig's List or your local Antique store), reuse building materials (one of the biggest percentages of what goes to landfills), purchasing recycled products such as toilet paper, garbage bags, using an at-home/office water filtration system such as Kinetico or Brita Filter instead of individual plastic water bottles. You can think of so many more.
The third R word-RECYCLE is the one most commonly known to most people. It simply means to turn an item over to someone else for reuse instead of having the items shipped to the landfill. It can be bringing any unwanted/unused items such as clothing/toys/furniture to the local Thrift store or handing down to other people, bringing your leftover bottles, cans, glass, paper, cardboard to a recycling center to have new recycled items made, bringing your tires/old appliances to the local recycling centers bi-annual recycling drive, composting for rich garden soil.
The primary goal of implementing all 3 R's is to reduce the amount of Natural Resources used (either trees for wood/paper products, petroleum for plastic products, silica/sand-glass products, aluminum/tin/steel-metal products) and to reduce/slow down the amount of items going to the landfill
So, this week try to think about the 3 R's and see how you can begin to use them in your life to make the world a little more "green" and people's lives a little more healthy.
Byline Bio: Gwen Corbett, owner of Bear's Den Cottages
www.bearsdencottages.com, Green Lodging
Helping Individuals and Businesses Go Green