Sunday, December 13, 2009

Precycle! The "Stop & Think" method of Saving the Planet.

Free Clipart

Never heard of Precycling? Well it's easy and you are probably already doing it. . . Precycling is remembering, before you buy, to consider what's going to be left when you are done with the product and choosing to purchase the least amount of packaging possible. It might mean buying a huge container of shampoo or dish-soap instead of 4 or 5 smaller ones over time. Or, it might mean taking the 30 minutes to cancel all that junk mail. It could also mean purchasing your honey "bulk" and putting it in your own container or buying a product in a recyclable or reusable container rather than one wrapped in plastic, or choosing to forgo the plastic bag for your onions.

Speaking of plastic. I have decided to follow a "no plastic for Christmas" policy. This means that I will not be giving gifts made of plastic. Not even gift cards. I get that this is much easier for me than for someone with small children. But not impossible, I hope.

Here's another precycle idea: Read magazines and books online. I used to get a magazine. I actually cancelled it because I didn't like throwing into the recycle bin when I was done with it. I don't read it online, either. Clearly, I don't really miss it. I have to confess that I don't enjoy reading the newspaper online. I generally will only read the breaking news. It makes me wonder if my attention span is getting shorter. . . and, I don't have, or want, a Kindle.

I like to hold a book. I like to turn the pages. I also like the way they smell. . . especially in the stacks at the library! I am committed to using the library. I have a cute brightly colored library card designed by a local preschooler named Chloe. I check out books for me and for Mr. Green from the tiny branch library across from my place of work. We have four out right now. I have two more on order. I use the online reservation system and it's easy. And I like giving them back.

And, of course, remembering your re-usable shopping bags is a big part of precycling. I am getting better at it, although I'm far from perfect. I look a little bit like a bag lady most of the time. And I still turn up without the damn things 30% of the time. Mr. Green finds it just a bit annoying when we walk out of our local co-op with both our arms full because I forgot to bring a bag and refuse to take another one home.

Shopping at the farmer's market is another way to pre-cycle. Put all that fresh produce right into your re-usable bags and Voila! no packaging! Just another reason to Buy Local.

Precycle! It's Fun & Easy! Pause and consider the planet before you buy.

What do you do to save the planet? Leave your suggestions!