Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Those are the three words traditionally associated with Green living. The last word of that trio gets the lion's share of media attention and recycling is what most people think about when they think of what they can do to be Green. Recycling is indeed something we all should do, but we can't neglect the first two words of the mantra.

When I hear that word, I think of buying pallets of potato chips and giant sized cans of soup. Buying in bulk is a great way to reduce the amount of trash we have and it is often an even greater way to keep some green in our wallets, but I think we need to look at the concept a little differently. America is a consumer society. Buying THINGS is almost as American as hot dogs and apple pie. Now, don't get me wrong, I like nice new shiny things, and the latest technological gadget catches my eye. There is not anything intrinsically wrong with purchasing things, but perhaps, we could slow down the shopping cart just a touch. It wouldn't kill us to pause for a brief moment before we buy the latest fad item and remember the closet full of 'Thigh Masters' and 'worn-only once' shirts, ties, skirts, etc and place our wallets back in our pocket or purse once in awhile. I think if we took stock of what we possessed, truly inventoried it, we might see the wisdom of not buying something else that in a day, week, month or year will end up on the top shelf of the back bed room closet, or the back corner of the garage, awaiting the day we send it to its final resting place...the landfill. We might see that we don't need to spend $20.00 for that metal rack to display the Reader's Digest and National Geographic magazines, when the old brief case we were about to toss in the trash serves as a functional and artistic alternative.

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