By Sharon Meyer
With such drastic global climate changes and wacky weather in the past year, New Jersey residents seem to be stepping up and taking action on improving the environment.
More than usually, residents seem to be more alert to the redundant but important phrase “Reduce Reuse Recycle.”
Environmentalists have been advocating this motto for years but now it is finally taking flight. One example of this is the reduction of plastic and paper bags at super markets and the rise in reusable shopping bags, according to an article in The Record by Andrea Alexander.
There are many steps people have been taking other than just reusing canvas bags; they are reusing containers, for lunch instead of plastic wrap/bags and even substituting bottled water with reusable containers according to the article by Alexander.
Companies are a big part in helping enforce these reusing qualities, which could be leading employees to take what they are learning home with them and relaying the message “Reduce, reuse, recycle” in their own homes.
The Sierra Club has been encouraging their members -22,000 of them- statewide to reduce and reuse as well as recycle, according to the article in the Record.
“One by one, what we buy, or how we buy things will make a difference – reusing canvas bags means you are not using oil and other things to make plastic bags that are not going to spend an eternity in a landfill, Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, told The Record..
For example, Whole Foods is one of many food stores offering customers money back for each reusable bag they bring in. Although the rebate is only 10 cents, every penny counts especially in a time of recession.
This “marketing plan” from the food stores and other companies helps encourage people to not only RECYCLE, but REDUCE and REUSE, which is equally important.
The Record reports, “Stop serving bottled water at catered events and public meetings,” suggests Randall Solomon, executive director of the Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers University. “Instead, put out pitchers of water to serve in glasses.”
“You don’t have to be super radical to make a huge difference,” Solomon, told The Record.
What seems to be the biggest problem is that people don’t care enough because many feel that the effects of their poor environmental behavior will not take place during their time on this planet. Others feel that it is the environmentalists’ job to take care of the planet, and they are worry free because others are doing the “dirty” work.
The best option is for everyone to do their part in keeping the Earth clean by using all three steps. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.