Reduce, then Reuse, then Recycle

Independent post from MastermindPotato 🐉

When we hear the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” we often tune out the first two and treat recycling as the solution to all the world’s problems (at least when it comes to waste). Really, though, reduce, reuse, and recycle is the order of importance — if we reduce what we consume, we don’t need to reuse or recycle anything in the first place. Then when we’re forced to buy things, reusing them means there’s none of the transport, energy, or wasted material caused by recycling. And finally, when we can’t avoid getting stuff that can’t be reused, recycling it allows it to go to use as opposed to going to a landfill.
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As an example:
Reduce: use gift bags (easily reusable) instead of wrapping paper. Fewer trees then need to be cut down to make it. 🛍
Reuse: If someone gives you something with wrapping paper (so you can’t reduce), then you can reuse undamaged parts or use it for crafts. That prevents you from having to buy more paper for those purposes. ✂️
Recycle: Reducing and reusing still leaves you with pieces of gift wrap that are unsalvageable, which can then be recycled (as long as they don’t have tape or glue on them) and turned into new things. Though it uses energy, it’s preferable to throwing it away, since landfills release methane and a lot of trash can end up in the oceans. ♻️
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Happy reducing, reusing, and recycling!

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