Reduce reuse recycle.
We have all heard that phrase many times over – especially recently. But how often do we really stop and consider why it is all so important?
As part of The REvolution Project, we are launching posters to draw awareness to just that. These posters will feature important statistics on the 3R’s. These statistics may also be startling, but so is the issue at hand.
So why is it important to reuse? We know implicitly that reuse is important, but we don’t necessarily think about exactly why.
Here are three reasons why it is good to reuse.
1. There is opportunity in your “waste.”
We know the expression – one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. This reality also produces an opportunity to save money and to generate money, not to mention do something good for the environment.
In the US each year, $20 billion worth of goods is thrown out. And that’s just for an economy the size of the US. Imagine if you could put that to work for you – both in terms of selling your surplus, and buying what you need at a cheaper rate.
At REfficient, one of the best examples of this reality are the Motorola DCT6200 cable boxes. The digital boxes are redundant to one company, yet completely usable and wanted by another. To recycle these units would be a waste, both financially and environmentally, for everyone.
2. Think throwing something out is free? Think again.
When we throw something out in a streetside garbage bin, we don’t have to pay a thing. It seems free – but is it?
The answer is no – we pay for garbage in our taxes. In the Canadian province of Ontario, $870 million a year is paid on waste disposal. That is a staggering number and Ontario is not alone.
There is another way we sometimes “pay” for garbage, and it is much worse. Some products – like electronics, are quite toxic, given their material composition. When these products are thrown out, the toxins can bleed into the soil and water systems. This affects all of us – our communities, our children, our wildlife and more.
We could reduce our financial and environmental costs through more effective reuse. The EPA shows that 70% of what is landfilled could actually be reused or recycled.
3. A lot of resources go into producing and disposing of products.
When we purchase something from the store, we usually don’t see or understand the supply chain that has gone into having it arrive on the shelf. Likewise, when we throw something out, we don’t know where it goes from there, and what resources go into its disposal.
The reality can be shocking. Approximately 70% of the environmental footprint of a computer comes from manufacturing it. The other major contributor to its footprint is the end-of-life stage. One of the easiest ways to minimize the total lifecycle impact of products is through effective reuse.
The bottom line is to reduce-reuse-recycle – and it will often help your bottom line.
Join the REvolution.
For references to the statistics, please see http://www.talksustainability.com/reblog/2012/06/08/statistics-showing-why-business-sustainability-is-important/.