Wrapped Up In Books

Reduce: Why forget this necessary “R”?
August 13, 2008, 10:42 pm
Filed under: A, Enviropolitics, Rants | Tags: ,

As E mentioned in her inaugural blog post, I go to great lengths to reduce my carbon footprint (as a sidenote, I wish this term was not a cliche). Anyone who has lived will me with attest that I fish small bits of paper and beer bottles out of the kitchen garbage, make grabs for toilet paper tubes absent-mindedly tossed into the bathroom bin, and avoid using plastic bags unless it’s to pick up after my dog. Moreover, adopting a vegan diet seriously reduces the amount of pollution (including carbon dioxide) released into our atmosphere, as does my now keen ability to run clothes into the ground and then replace them with more sustainable fabrics (I’ll draw your attention to my now-holey and threadbare Levi’s Eco-Jeans). This leads me to my next point.

I have to say that some people who would like to tout themselves as earth-friendly hippies really get to me. People who list ‘recycling’ as an interest on facebook (ugh) make me ill. If they had even an infinitesimal clue about those three Rs, they’d know that reducing tops the list. Are they really so blind as to think this is the key to circumventing our planet’s demise?

The three Rs are written in the order of their importance, and so it follows that they should be acted out in that sequence as well. I’ll jot them down in case your first grade teacher failed to do their job.

1) Reduce

2) Reuse

3) Recycle

Reducing should be everyone’s priority. For god’s sake, bring your own shopping bag to do not only groceries, but also clothes shopping. You’re only doing advertising for free, unless you’d rather be a slave to the brand you’re buying (and probably paying too much for anyway). Reduce the amount of consumables that require long journeys to get to where you are. Start drinking Canadian beer instead of imports, and better yet, travel to a microbrew and buy the beer from where it’s made. Reduce the amount of cleaning products you buy, and be mindful about what’s inside them. Get crafty and make your own everything – bake your own muffins instead of buying shitty ones from the bakery that have preservatives (there are reasons our corpses decompose at a slower rate these days), mix up some vinegar and water then wash your kitchen floor without using anything you have to wear gloves to handle.

Only when reducing fails should you move on to the next R, Reusing. So find a use for that plastic bag you found under your kitchen sink instead of condemning it to the landfill. Take your dog for a walk or maybe even give the bag to someone you know who owns a dog. Less obvious ways of reusing are taking your empties back to the LCBO (and put that money towards new alcohol!), buying a good set of dishes in the first place instead of paper plates, and using a proper mug when you’re staying at Starbucks (or some better beanery) instead of tossing away a cup (sitting down to enjoy that coffee could make you realize that it isn’t that difficult to sit still for 10 minutes).

The worst case scenario I ever witnessed was an acquaintance in first year buying a year’s supply of styrofoam plates, bowls, and cups to avoid ever having to do dishes. Don’t forget, though, that at least plastic cutlery is reusable. Then, failing that, recyclable.

Copyright © 2008 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.


1 Comment so far
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A – I am reminded of that time you made me carry home 3 bottles of wine because I didn’t bring my own bag. Plus a case of beer.

How that bag hid my (clear) alcoholism.

Comment by whitehotretort

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