Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

By , March 19, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I would assert that the three parts of this concept are listed in order of importance. If we want to save the planet, cut back on the tremendous rate at which we use resources, be they renewable or not, or simply improve our own personal lives, each of these three concepts must be pursued in the hierarchy indicated by their order.

Reducing what we consume obviously has the greatest impact. Decreasing the volume of goods we want and/or need sets a new threshold for consumption. Living at or below that threshold lowers one’s cost of living and decreases the amount one must earn to maintain a lifestyle “to which one has become accustomed.”

reduce, reuse, recycle

Aly‘s rendering of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mobius-strip logo (Artwork: Aly Zeiger).

We’ve definitely found this true in our homestead life. As much as we spend on food and other necessities, and things we want rather than need, it’s still drastically below the levels we spent when we lived “on the grid,” as frugal as that life had been.

Recycling, which should be the last resort of these three concepts, has regrettably become the focus. Even the triune logo has become known by the common name “recycling logo.” Recycling is very important to conservation, but it is the least effective of the three concepts. This is true not only because the process of recycling uses val

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