A closer look: Comfortable vs. conscious
Learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle more items the right way.
Friday, February 17, 2012 - 02:15
Recent generations have been drilled with the notion of "reduce, reuse, recycle" many times over. Fast forward to now, when materials such as aluminum, paper and plastic are recycled at higher rates than ever before. Unfortunately, the recycling rates of these now-ubiquitous materials should be significantly higher than current reports. This indicates recyclable materials are incorrectly disposed.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only 8 percent of plastics were successfully recycled in 2010. Additionally only 25 percent of electronic waste (e-waste) is recycled, a troublesome piece of information. The question remains: how can we make for a more sustainable lifestyle? Of course, the easiest and most effective way to achieve this common goal is to reduce, reuse and recycle.
People have grown too dependent on a flawed theory of simplicity. This critical belief has caused previously "easy" tasks to become burdensome and archaic. Planning the grocery run and sorting the recyclables, once-relatively mundane tasks, have transformed into moderate feats. This negative outlook on daily living is partially responsible for these daunting statistics. Living sustainably should be considered simple if one follows the "eco-pearls" of sustainable living.
- Most items are recyclable, from cardboard boxes to plastic wrapping. Unless the local government prohibits particular items, they should be placed in a recycling receptacle.
- Pay close attention to city/town recycling codes. These guidelines can be easily accessed from local governments' websites.
- Self-auditing automatically helps to minimize waste, reuse more items and foster efficiency.
- Spreading the word to colleagues, friends and other acquaintances about being eco-conscious promotes civic pride and esteem.
- Reading about recycling and green living will allow oneself to inherit a great deal of knowledge and education about environmental issues and solutions.
There are many other ideas and axioms of sustainability and resource consumption. Starting off with a few will help bolster these relatively-low recycling rates. In order to create enduring change the current generation must discard the comfortable lifestyle and embrace the new conscious lifestyle.
Photo: Just Katety/Flickr
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