Rethinking ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’: Going Green at Home (and Saving Money Too!)

by Concierge Matcher on November 27, 2010

solar energy for homesPeople have been talking about going green at home for decades now, and although the media has only been covering it in depth for the past decade or so, scientists have also been talking about global warming for decades. And yet our culture of consumption continues to ensure that we still struggle with taking some simple steps to reduce our effect upon the environment. We are told on the one hand to reduce, reuse, recycle – and variously to repair and rethink as well.

On the other hand, we have both obvious and subtle messages every day to consume more and more. But a movement towards living simply is starting to gain momentum. Simply put, living simple is about reducing our consumption and reducing our spending. Some people are interested in living simply for environmental reasons, others for health reasons and others to save money. But regardless of motivation, some of the same basic changes need to be made.

So let’s get back to basics. What does it mean to reduce, reuse and recycle? To repair and rethink? Well, basically the big one behind all those re words is reduce,. Everything else is aimed at helping us to reduce. Reduce our consumption, reduce our use of fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources, reduce our carbon emissions, and reduce our contribution to landfill. Reduce the money we need to spend, and by extension, the amount of time we need to work to earn that money.

So how do we do this? Well, there are lots of things we can do, from learning new skills to allow us to make things from scratch (be they bread or clothes or chook houses) and to repair things instead of buying new, to simpler things buying things with less packaging. From reducing our gas and electricity bills by looking into solar energy for homes, to saving electricity by turning off the light when you leave the room and turning off appliances at the wall. Did you know you can save up to 12% of your energy bills simple by turning things off all the way instead of leaving them on standby?

But what is the key? The key is to think reduction. How can you reduce what you bring into your home, in terms of packaging, new products, energy, and even food that you don’t grow yourself. That’s what the reduce, reuse, recycle slogan really comes down to. That’s what repairing comes down to. That’s what living simply comes down to. When you rethink, what you need to be thinking about is how to reduce.

Source: Sustainable Suburbia

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