Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Refuse. Reuse. Refill. Repair. Repurpose. Reduce. Recycle.

Here, in geographically isolated New Zealand, recycling must increasingly be considered the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

The mantra for the future: Refuse. Reuse. Refill. Repair. Repurpose. Reduce. Recycle.

Our ‘right to convenience and consumption’ as individuals has somehow come to take precedence over the survival of our species. We can turn the tide of this entitled behaviour by refusing avoidable, everyday single-use items. And we can wake up tomorrow morning and begin. Taking stewardship over our daily habits and the products we choose, or choose to refuse, is empowering and effective. It also acts as a gateway drug of good behaviour, if you like. Once we begin to consider the implications of our small actions, a whole world of awareness begins to open up.

So, begin with little things? Refuse straws when you are at a café - mention it firmly and politely when you place your order. Stay and drink your coffee in, rather than using a single use takeaway cup, or if you must run, repurpose something from home to get the job done instead of buying something new.

Stop buying bottled water. We have no need for it. It is a scam. 50 years ago the idea of paying for something that falls from the sky and pours from the tap would have been laughable – we need to laugh at ourselves and each other if we do it now. Let positive peer pressure police our choices.

Teach yourself to love inconvenience? Buy oranges rather than a plastic bottle of orange juice! Look for food items with the least possible packaging – our consumer power will change how products are presented. Buy vegetables and fruit loose. If you still drink dairy, search out a local farm who uses glass bottles you can return? Use your own containers if you are getting a take away meal. Compost your food waste? Keep it out of landfill.



Set household goals – can we cut our waste enough to put our wheelie bin out once a month? Once every 2 months? Longer? Can we put our recycling bin out every 2 or 3 months? Think not simply, ‘can this be recycled?’ Think ‘can this be avoided?’ Reducing the production of unnecessary items is as vital as dealing with their end of life.

If it breaks, fix it. If we don’t need it, don’t buy. Stop and consider the word ‘need’. Can we make do? Gift time rather than things. Teach our children that a person is valued for their kindness, generosity, humility and integrity, rather than their possessions. Disrupt the idea that to have more is more.

Recycling has its place. But refusing and reducing must be a priority if we are to give future generations a chance to lead healthy and untroubled lives. And we can do this. Refuse. Reuse. Refill. Repair. Repurpose. Reduce. Recycle.

We are the first generations to realise the damage our modern lifestyles are causing, and the last who will be able to stop it. The 7 R’s may help.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On America’s ‘Green New Deal’

‘Socialism’ is more of a political scare word than an objective condition. Even in the US, as Nate Silver’s 538 website pointed out this week there is polling evidence that modern Americans are inclined to treat socialism as meaning ‘equality’ rather than the ‘government ownership or control’ that Americans understood the term to mean back in the 1940s... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Nelson Fire And Climate Change

The Nelson fire has been a useful warning of things to come, given how climate change will (a) increase the likelihood of reduced rainfall and drought-like conditions in many parts of New Zealand, which – obviously – will raise (b) the fire danger and (c) the cost of providing the communities at risk with the enhanced firefighting capabilities that they’re going to need. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Listening To Ocasio-Cortez About Tax

In its attitudes to tax, New Zealand has been the last colonial outpost of Thatcherism. Change, however, may be in the air. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Exit From Afghanistan

To state the bleedingly obvious, US military forces have done a good deal of harm over the past 50 years from Central America to Asia to Africa. That history is now tending to obscure the harm that’s being done by the polar opposite impulse: American isolationism... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit Vote Aftermath

So, what happens next? Normally when a major policy like this gets so crushingly rejected – by 230 votes, when Theresa May had reportedly been hoping for a defeat by “only” 70- 100 votes – the PM would resign and/or a fresh election called. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our History Of Selling Out The Kurds

For the past 100 years, the West has sold out the Kurds over and over again. So much so that it came as a surprise yesterday when US National Security advisor John Bolton appeared to walk back the latest act of betrayal... More>>

ALSO: