Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash


The End of Recycling

Industrial recycling efforts are drying up. Stay green by being smart.

Ironically, when you think you’re doing the green thing by tossing that Starbucks cup into a blue recycling bin, you’re actually making it more likely that recycling will disappear altogether.

Net-net: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” has been reduced to “Reduce and Reuse.” Here are six ways to do so.

1. Stop buying plastic water bottles now.

By 2021, we will consume over 500,000,000,000 plastic bottles a year. That’s half-a-trillion.

2. Bring reusable tote bags to the market.

Many markets have eliminated single-use plastic bags, which is great. But big brown paper bags aren’t much better. So please bring a reusable tote bag. Markets often sell or even give them away at the point of purchase.

3. Unsubscribe to anything print.

I know, I know, the sensual pleasure of holding a book in your hand, or flipping through a magazine or newspaper. But you’re holding a dinosaur. There is zero rationale for reading anything that has been produced on a wood pulp product. Just ask Medium.

4. Be smart about recycling.

Of course, you should keep recycling. Municipalities are trying to localize their recycling efforts, which makes more sense environmentally than shipping our trash to China, and economically by creating local jobs and offering employee ownership (the real way to make America great again).

5. Lobby companies to be smarter about packaging.

When I shop on Amazon, it’s easy for me to rationalize how I’m reducing my carbon emissions by ordering stuff online. But, man, they sure use a lot of packaging. Can you even recycle those endless chains of plastic pillows they include inside the cardboard boxes? (The answer is yes, but not curbside. You need to bring them to the plastic bag recycling bins available at some supermarkets.)

6. Do We Really Need More Stuff?

At the end of the day, that’s really the question we need to ask ourselves.

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst



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