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Things I Can Do To Help

Our Environment

Updated 2014.04.16

“The environment” is just a silly way of saying “what we need in order to survive here”. The Earth itself will be just fine. It'll continue orbiting the sun long after humans have polluted themselves into extinction. “Saving the Planet” then is a misnomer; it doesn't need saving. What needs saving are the resources that we require as humanity: air, water, food, minerals, etc.

What follows are simple, non-expensive ways to reduce your negative impact on the environment. In most cases, they don't cost any extra money. In some cases, they'll save money. The lists are organized around the popular mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.


Reduce

"Reduce" is rightly the first of the three Rs. It means reducing your consumption. If you buy less, then there's less to worry about reusing and recycling (or throwing in a landfill). It also means factories will make less and pollute less, extractors will mine less raw materials. It also almost always means you save money.



Reuse

If you must buy something, try to buy something that can be reused as something else when you're done with it (see examples below). Consider not buying something at all if it can't be reused later (like paper napkins, the only purpose of which is to be thrown in the garbage). And remember "buying something" includes the packaging.



Recycle

Recycling is the last resort of the three Rs. If you can't/won't reduce your consumption, and you insist on buying something that can't be repurposed, then make sure it's recyclable. Recycling is resource-intensive and not exactly "green", but it's better than throwing things in the landfill.



I began this page as simply ‘notes to myself’. For instance, I thought I would forget the coffee grounds tip if I didn't write it down. Then I started listing things I had already been doing. Then I added things I wanted to start doing. Now it's more of a general tips page, an ideas box.

* indicates items that save money and/or time, as well as the environment
† indicates items I do (or have done, in some cases)




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