Make Daily Choices

We can try to trick ourselves into thinking that our footprint doesn’t really make a difference in the environment, but the truth is that it does. Imagine what a different world we would live in if everyone walked around every day thinking about how they could minimize their environmental impact instead of thinking about how they can have more and do more. Imagine if everyone made conscious choices instead of living on autopilot.

I propose that there is another R we can add to the 3R equation: reflect. We can reduce, reflect, reuse, and recycle. If we’re not able to reduce consumption or avoid consumption completely, then we can reflect on what we’re buying. In order to reflect and make conscious decisions, this can require information and education, as we were discussing earlier.

Companies have started showing us on their packaging how they contribute to reducing environmental impact. For instance, on a box of water, a company states the following:

• 76 percent of the box is composed of a renewable resource: trees;

• The trees come from well-managed FSC-certified forests;

• The company ships its boxes flat to a filler to lower its carbon footprint;

• The boxes are recyclable at participating facilities; and

• The company donates to reforestation and world water relief efforts.

If there is an actual need to buy a container of water, when given a choice between this box of water and a bottle of water, it would make sense after reflecting to buy the box of water. Whether we’re buying envelopes, coffee, chocolate, yard waste bags, or anything, we can become more aware of what has gone into the product so that we can make greener choices.

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