Reduction, reuse the most important elements of the ‘three Rs’ cycle

Re: Trash Talk (News, Feb. 18)

There’s good reason to commend all who promote recycling, and all who participate.  Diverting stuff from Hartland Landfill is a necessity. But attention to recycling easily omits two of the three Rs, namely reducing and reusing.

Blue boxes are a good idea, aiding the diversion from Hartland and (possibly) putting some resources back onto the supply side. However, blue boxes may not be altogether good. As they help us get rid of stuff (even with good conscience: “I recycle”), they make room so we can get more stuff. Are we over-consuming the planet?

While recycling causes us only modest effort when throwing stuff away, the other Rs are  more challenging: they strike too close to the heart of our consumer lifestyles.

Greg Holloway