Monday, September 3, 2018

Recycling - A next to last option

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Though it may seem contrary to the title of this blog, today anyone serious about waste reduction should really focus on the "other" R's - "reduce" and "reuse" and also "re-earthing = composting" versus recycling.  Unbeknownst to many Americans, much of our plastic recycling has been going to Chinese markets for many years, and earlier this year, China said they'd had enough and put strict contamination limits on plastic recycling imports.  While there are still markets for some recyclables (Plastics 1 and 2,

cardboard, aluminum and metals), most "recyclable" plastics are now ending up in incinerators and landfills.  Yuk!

So, what's an environmentally conscious consumer to do?

Consider if you really need to purchase something or if you're purchasing because you think you need it, or because it's the trendiest newest trend. (I know that sounds lame, but maybe this exercise will be helpful).  Then, if "yes", you really do need it, shop for something that's used.  There are so many options out there, from Ebay, to Craig's List, to FreeCycle.  I just bought a standing desk in perfect condition for 1/2 price on Craig's List.  And, I bought a Columbia GoreTex jacket for $30.  And, if you're ready to pass some of your belongings along, consider offering it on Craig's List or FreeCycle.  I'm amazed at what people consider treasure! And, while buying second (or third) hand will save you some real money, the added real beauty of these "used" goods is that they usually come package free - so you won't have anything to put in that recycle bin.