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The 3 Rís: Reduce - Reuse - Recycle
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The 3 Rís: Reduce - Reuse - Recycle

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The 3R's are at the heart of the ‘Go Green’ global movement. All of us, whether a public organisation, private enterprise or individuals in our own homes need to manage resources more sustainably. The world’s resources are not infinite and it is widely recognised that all of our activities today are contributing to climate change. It is scary to note that people in 2050 will only have 25% of the resources per capita that people in 1950 had. Therefore, the only way we can support future populations is by using our resources more efficiently.

The first step to reducing your impact on the environment, is reducing the amounts of resources you consume and use. Think twice before you buy or use anything. Do you really need it? By reducing your consumption you will also decrease the amount of waste you produce.

There are also many other ways to reduce your waste. The opportunities are nearly endless.

Here are just a few ideas:
• Think before you print or photocopy! Print and copy as little as possible.
• Edit on screen, not on paper.
• Use email to minimize paper use.
• Send and store documents electronically instead of on paper.
• When you must print or copy, do it double-sided.
• Circulate documents instead of making an individual copy for everyone.
• Change the margins on your documents.

There are so many ways of optimizing your energy consumption
• Turn off unused or unneeded lights.
• Use natural lighting instead of electric lighting, whenever possible.
• If you have a desk lamp, make sure it uses fluorescent bulbs (instead of incandescent bulbs).
• Dress appropriate to the season.
• Select cold water for washing clothes.
• Keep windows and doors closed in heated and air-conditioned areas.
• Turn off computers when they are not in use.
• Purchase only energy-efficient products.

If you must drive, buck the trend toward more wasteful vehicles and drive a fuel efficient car and don’t drive it more than you really need to! Park your car in the shade. Gas evaporates from your fuel tank more quickly when you park in the sun. Parking in the shade lowers the temperature in your gas tank by up to 7 degrees, significantly reducing fuel evaporation.

The importance of reusing products cannot be emphasized enough!
Plastic containers can become food storage, paper can become wrapping paper. The ways in which to reuse things are unlimited. All you need is to be creative. If being creative is not your thing, here are some other ideas:
• Reuse envelopes by placing a new label over the old address.
• Designate a box for scrap paper and use it for printing all drafts or unofficial documents.
• Reuse plastic bags or better get reusable canvas bags.

Recycling is always a great idea.
• When buying any type of product, see if it is available with post consumer recycled content.
• Production of recycled paper uses only half the water and 3/4 of the energy than new paper.
• Every ton of recycled paper saves almost 400 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space and seventeen trees.
• If you recycle soda cans, the energy used and air pollution created, is 95 percent less than if the cans were produced from raw materials.

You could operate a TV set for an estimated three hours with the energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can!

Thinking green means being aware of our interconnectedness with the world and reflecting on the unintended damage we cause nature in the daily course of our lives. Thinking green leads to acting green - taking corrective action to make environmental responsibility a reality.











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