We all know what the three arrows stand for on the recycle symbol - reduce, reuse, recycle - but have you given a thought to the other words besides "recycle?" Our focus tends be solely on recycle, when in fact, recycling should be one of the last stops along the path of the life of our stuff.
It could be that we are products of the US, where there is a lot of focus on stuff, possessions and things that make our lives easier and move along faster. I read somewhere (All You Need Is Less [AMAZON] that we are working hard to avoid working hard, which is in essence exercising, and then we spend tons of money and effort on dieting and losing weight. It is a bit ironic, to be sure.
And all of that money we spend on things that we don't need, use very little or don't even remember we have, is taking a toll on our wallets, the stuff is taking a toll on our health (plastic leaches toxic chemicals), our soul (too much stuff takes a toll on your emotional health), our planet and the animals that inhabit it. Plastics (which make up most of everything) hangs around next to forever.
I believe there is a huge connection between being as plastic free as possible and living waste free and part of that connection is "stuff." Do we really need all the stuff we acquire? Do we even use most of that stuff? Or does it clutter our lives and the planet?
For the next week or month or year, think before you make a new purchase. Consider: do you really need it? will you really use it? can you get it used or second-hand? in fact, do you already have it? by purchasing it, how will it truly make your life "better?"
Th first step in the waste pyramid is refusing something. Let's practice that for the next little while.