(RE)Thinking

When companies talk about Recycling and how the environment profits from it, they’re only telling you half, or rather a quarter, of the truth – the least helpful quarter. Recycling comes only last in what I like to refer to as the 4 R’s of Sustainable thinking:

  • REFUSE: Think carefully before you make a purchase decision. Think not only about from where and what you’re buying, but also about whether you need to buy it at all. Preventing emissions is better than having to clean them up later
  • REDUCE: Okay, a lot of times we can’t really avoid buying something that’s harmful for the environment. But more often than not you could buy a lesser amount of stuff, thereby directly reducing your harmful footprint on our Environment.
  • REUSE: Does everything you own have to be brand new? Hell no! Given today’s economy, you can save yourself a ton of cash by buying/selling stuff that you don’t really use. If not, at least look around for someone who can really use stuff you don’t use anymore. Cellphones, Laptops and the like fit nicely into this scheme of things.
  • RECYCLE: Only when all the above fails, should you end up dumping stuff into the Recycle bin. Remember recycling also requires energy and resources. Recycling missions by companies are very often a marketing trick to make you feel less guilty about buying a newer product to replace an older one without any real need.
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