On Tuesday, I wrote about the dip in demand for recyclable materials. Recyclables are piling up in warehouses, and as long as the economy continues to head in the direction it’s heading, demand probably won’t increase. It’s a problem. What’s the solution?
I’m not sure what the solution is in the grand scheme of things, but I know that I can contribute to a small part of the solution. I can step up the reduce and reuse part of reduce, reuse, recycle. If I produce less recyclables, and you produce less recyclables, it will help. It might not solve the entire problem, but it will help.
Here’s what I plan to do:
- Be very diligent about taking my reusable bags to the grocery store. I always remember them when I’m doing the big bi-weekly, got the list shopping trip, but if I’m just running out for a couple of things, I forget them. I’m going to make sure my Chicobags are with me. I can eliminate having a lot of plastic bags that need to be recycled that way.
- Go beyond canceling unwanted catalogs and junk mail (which I’ve already done). I’ve got several charities that I’ve contributed to at one time or another who request contributions at least monthly. I’m going to contact those that I don’t plan on contributing to in the near future and ask them to quit sending requests. I’m also going to make sure that I’m receiving all of the paperless statements that are available to me.
- Reuse all shipping items. Especially around this time of year, I get a lot of packages. All of the items from the boxes to the air pillows can be reused again as shipping packages. I can save some for when I have to ship things and the remaining items I can take to a shipping store or put them on freecycle for someone to take. Imagine if all of the paper, cardboard and plastic that were used in shipping this holiday season ended up reused instead of put in the recycle bin or worse the trash bin. I wonder if we’d even need any new packing materials for the remainder of the year.
I know these are small measures. I’m sure there are some who are going to say that the problem is so big and my individual efforts won’t make a dent. And maybe they are right – my individual efforts won’t make a measurable difference. But many, many individual efforts will make a measurable difference. Will you join me?