Hello green friends! This Saturday feels like a very special Saturday as we near Earth Day, a day dedicated to putting your very best green foot forward. In honor of Earth Day which is fast approaching on April 22, I want to take some time to highlight the catchy line that I always use to end my rants (I mean post); Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, which is not actually a form of creative genius on my end, but a well-known line used to describe methods for lowering our environmental impact.
The popular slogan started as a result of the success of the very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 created by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson (recyclenation.com). It is now celebrated in over 100 countries around the globe... hats off to Senator Gaylord! The excitement at the inception of Earth Day is considered the birth of the environmental movement. This movement caused people to become concerned about their environmental impact, and thus the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was born. Most of my fun facts come from EPA’s website in case any of you feel inspired to discover more environmental topics that I haven’t covered. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle simplifies the method we should apply to lower our environmental impact spelling it out in a way that everyone can understand, and happens to be pretty darn catchy.
The idea is to REDUCE the amount of waste you produce, REUSE items that have a further purpose and RECYCLE whatever you can. The best way to eliminate waste is to simply not create it hint,hint; I’m referring to the first ‘R’ reduce. The more we reuse the less new material has to be produced, which ultimately ends up either in a landfill or a recycling center (scienceing.com). Reprocessing material into something new makes up our final ‘R’ recycle, and the key difference between reusing and recycling is that reuse prolongs the life of an item whereas recycling takes a material and forms it into something new.
There is some debate on which ‘R’ is the most important, but I like to think that all three methods make for a positive impact, and at the very least it is better to be practicing one of them than to be doing nothing at all. By incorporating just one of the ‘R’ into your everyday life you can keep materials from taking an immediate trip to landfill land. I know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t she just rave about all the landfill gas possibilities, and how not so terrible landfills are?” Yes and no, landfills to an extent are a necessary evil, but that still creates environmental problems that can be reduced if we manage our personal role in not turning the planet into one giant landfill. One way to lower our impact is to buy products that can be reused such as; reusable bags, water bottles and utensils. Try buying products with less packaging and avoid using items that only have a one-time use (like the dreaded plastic bag). Support companies that use recycled material to make their products; aluminum cans, car bumpers, carpeting, laundry detergent bottles, paper towels and trash bags just to name a few (epa.gov). You can find creative ways to reuse items and by doing so keep them out of the waste stream for longer.
I’m going to give a shout out to a few stores I came across in the great state of Oklahoma that make it apart of their mission to use recycled and repurposed material. STASH; uses ethically made products, and sustainable ingredients with longevity in mind. Green Bambino; has a curated selection of sustainable and eco-friendly products. Plenty Mercantile’s mission is to “purchase with principle” specializing in obtaining resources that have been rescued, and recycled and uses packaging that is recycled, reusable, biodegradable and compostable. With all of this information I’ve thrown at you I hope you feel equipped to go out into your community on Earth Day and practice your three ‘R’ with pride and confidence! As always Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
KOB’s very own,