Monkey Forest Tales: What can you do to help improve the environment? Things anyone can do everywhere – Part 1: 3 R’s

Unamas Agosto 2011 045As I mentioned in the last post, one of the main news over the past months (August 2019) was the burning of Amazon. If you were worried about it and where trying to think what else you can do apart from donating to organizations working to solve this problem in the Amazon when you are in a country far from the Amazon, I have some suggestions for you, most of which I practice myself, even when I’m living in an Amazon country.

The problems are not only the burning of the Amazon, but it’s also the degradation of our air quality, water sources, plastics, and climate change. Although a lot of these things look like big problems that mostly the government needs to tackle, the reality is that most of us can help a little bit by changing some of our daily life habits, even if you live in a big city surrounded by cement.

So, here are some of those small things that you can do and don’t cost you more than a little bit of your time, and will improve your life, your family life, and especially the life that future generations can have.

There is a wide concept link to recycling that has been taught but rarely applied, even less in daily life. This concept is the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. I will explain each one and put examples of how we can apply them in our daily life below. All of these are related with our shopping habits, not something many wants to know or apply because many people don’t like to be told how to do their shopping, but if you are really concern about the kind of world you want to leave to your kids, then maybe you should start thinking about this.

Reduce: this basically means to purchase less…plastic, cloths, and basically anything. This can also be practiced in our daily decisions, when we choose to buy a big bottle of cooking oil versus a small one, when we decide to buy a box of cookies but not the one which came with individual packages, and so on. It also applies when you see a new t-shirt in a shop and you think about having it, but back at your home you have a closet full of t-shirts and you only used a couple of them. I know it’s difficult but sometimes we should ask ourselves if that is really worth it. Probably this one is the one that is more difficult to apply but also, it’s the one that can save us a lot of money in the long-term.

Reuse: this means use the empty packages (plastic bottles, carton, paper, etc.) to make new things, or to use it for a different purpose than the one we buy it for. Careful with this, NOT use empty pesticide packages to carry water, food or drugs for people or animals (I saw people doing this in rural areas). This kind of packages needs to be disposed of in an appropriate way and there are companies in charge of dispose these items in the right way. Please don’t leave them in the forest or close to water sources, residues from these packages pollute water and soil and can affect people and animal health. If you need ideas of how to reuse empty packages, just search the internet, there are thousands of videos and post on how to convert those materials to nice decorations and useful tools.

Recycle: this means to use the materials of those empty packages to produce new products. So, what you do when you select and put these items at the supermarket containers, you are disposing of these elements so other companies can reprocess the materials to make new packages from used ones. We are just helping distribute materials that can be recycled to produce new products. Recycling implies a series or physical/ mechanical or chemical processes that need to be done in specific sites to be recycled. You can also earn some money if you collect these materials and take them to the recycling plant to sell them.

Tip 1: Buy smart, reuse articles as much as you can and recycle what you cannot reuse.

Benefits:

  • Reduce your expenses by buying more for less
  • Reduce your garbage, especially plastic envelopes, bags and bottles
  • Earn money
  • Reduce your footprint on the planet

 

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