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By Linda Stewart

Consumption inevitably leads to waste and this waste has to be disposed. Waste disposal requires space. Space is at a premium. Landfills do not provide solution that is viable over the long-term. The breakdown of waste releases harmful chemicals and gases into the air, soil, and water.

Recycling garbage offers a partial solution. This is because the amount of garbage being produced is increasing every year. We need to use less, reuse, and then recycle. This behavioral change is the only way we can save our environment. When we do this, we save landfill space and also use less of the precious finite natural resources, such as fossil fuel.

Here are steps that you can take to reduce, reuse, and recycle –

Stop using disposable goods to the extent you can. This includes disposable containers, plastic bottles, cans, cigarette lighters, disposable syringes, and similar items. Because we’re culturally attuned to using, disposing, and throwing, we contribute immeasurably to the growing problem of waste and its disposal. If we can cut down on the need to replace, we will also cut down on replacement costs.

We must try and buy goods made from recycled materials. A simple search online will reveal brands that use recycled materials, and are also conscientious about getting their own products recycled. Recycled plastics, goods, and metals save energy costs.

The very simple expedient of using cloth bags can contribute tremendously to a clean environment. Plastic bags are made from mineral oils. The entire process from manufacture to recycling of plastic pollutes the atmosphere in one way or another.

Instead of throwing away things that we don’t need, we must first try to dispose them through donations to charities. Furniture, used clothing, used furnishings, and books are just some of the household things that we can donate or maybe even sell. Doing so keeps these objects in circulation. Reuse is a very effective means of preventing things from ending up in a landfill before their useful life is over.

Shift to a personal, refillable, steel or copper water bottle instead of using plastic water bottles. Single use plastic cups and bottles form a significant part of the waste that is generated each day in municipalities across America.

Buy only recycled paper. This single approach, followed effectively to the extent possible, can ease a lot of strain on the environment. Shifting completely to electronic mail is also another great way to save paper.

Plan your shopping. Buy in bulk to avail discounts and also reduce the amount of packaging that would otherwise go into every single item.

Look up community recycling programs in your area and participate in these. Encourage your neighbors to participate in such programs. Buy products that are manufactured using recyclable items collected from your community. This is important in order to support the recycling initiatives taken by private and government bodies.

Improvise and innovate in terms of the different ways in which you can use a single product. Get creative with how you can use a plastic water bottle, for example, you can use it to grow plants.

As a society, we need to rediscover the culture of repairing and reusing. So, do not throw away broken toys. See if they can be repaired. Do not throw appliances. Get them repaired.

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