If you could persuade people to do one thing right now, what would it be?
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Here’s why – this is a change in behavior that requires a lot of attention to detail, planning, read of labels and so forth. It even requires some moderate increase in physical activity. So it has immediate benefits for the individual:
- heightened awareness of their environment
- better health
- sense of well-being that comes from doing good
- saves money
- less clutter (get all “stuff” into circulation helping neighbors in need rather than in your attic)
- compliance with the law
There’s also a systemic benefit
- more recyclables means more material for production of repurposed/upcycled items
- reducing consumption means less pollution, waste and so forth
- increasing “reconsumption” via thrift stores, resale shops, etc creates local jobs
- increased recycling means more money for your municipal government without raising your taxes
- your great-grandkids won’t have to go to a tree museum
So, what specifically am I asking you to do today?
- Set up a “recycling area” in your home/garage. A trash can and blue bags? Shelves? bins? Whatever works for you.Review your recycling options. Your municipality might take newspaper and cans, but perhaps down the street is a space where you can drop-off other items. Do a little Googling or visit Earth911.com.
- Get our your travels mugs and reuseable water bottles. Put one of each in your “work bag” or your car so you can easily grab them when you are out and about.
- Get out some reusable bags. Again, put one in your “work bag” and a few in your car. You’ll save a few pennies when you shop.
So that’s the recycling and the reduce parts. Simple steps that start retraining your mind.
Reuse? This is the best one because you can donate. You have stuff to share. Find a project that needs your stuff. I’m not asking you to start weaving blankets from your old socks. Nope. Donate old socks to Goodwill Industries which shreds and sells the textile materials to fund their good work in the community. I mean you could pretty much donate everything to Goodwill and be done. But if you have an organization that you care about – ask what they need? Then see if you have it. Pittsburgh holds a ReuseFest in August so you can also set aside items for that event.
This is what I would persuade people to do.