Saturday, January 12, 2008

precycling and the 5 r's

We are all familiar with the 3 R's of recycling: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. However, I have been hearing more about the interesting idea called precycling: the idea of supporting responsible packaging and consciousness of waste before you even use the product. It just makes sense.

I was surprised to find an article using this term that was posted back in 1994. Reading more about the history of precycling, I found out one of the first communities to focus on precycling was Berkeley, CA all the way back in 1989!

Refuse what you don't need
Reduce what you do need
Reuse what you can't reduce
Recycle what you can't reuse
Rebuy (buy recycled) whenever possible.

Here are just some of the many 5R suggestions:
  • Avoid the paper vs. plastic dilemma.

  • Buy large single containers.

  • Pass on styrofoam.

  • Don't buy plastic razors, throwaway cleansing pads and cigarette lighters, non-refillable pens and foil baking pans. Reduce or eliminate your use of disposable plastic diapers, which make up 2% of the total U.S. landfill volume. Gr-oss!

  • Compare the size of the package to the size of the product.

This mom's blog post offers more ideas on being eco-responsible.

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