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The four R’s make for a better Earth for all

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Updated: October 31, 2011 10:45AM



Teens: A Canadian teen sent me a marvelous environmental booklet distributed by the Royal Bank called “Conserve and Protect.” It’s chock-full of useful information about how each of us can contribute to a much healthier environment. If used, the following hints and tips can make a big difference in making our world a better and safer place.

All The Right Moves:

Once upon a time, we learned the three R’s at school. Now it’s high time that we mastered a new set of R’s: Reject, Reuse, Repair and Recycle. Applying the four-R principle at home is an effective way to help conserve and protect the environment.

Reject

Before purchasing an item, ask yourself if you really need it. If you really do, could you substitute another product that has less impact on the environment?

† Reject over-packaged items such as blister packs, single-serving sizes and aerosol cans.

† Reject polystyrene and disposable items such as plates, napkins, paper towels and cutlery.

Reuse

Once a product has outlived its immediate usefulness, can you use it another way or give it away? Plastic bags, clothes, toys and half cans of paint are examples of eminently reusable products.

† Refuse to use plastic bags when shopping; instead, take along your own cloth or string bag or backpack. Reuse those plastics you can’t easily avoid, such as bread bags and yogurt containers.

† Buy returnable and recyclable bottles and containers.

Repair

Before buying an item, ask yourself whether it’s likely to break down and if it can be repaired at a reasonable price.

† Buy durable products that will last for the long term, not “throw-away” or disposable items like lighters, razors, cameras and pens. These are some of the least “disposable” items once they’re thrown into a dump.

Recycle

Can the item you’re considering buying be collected and reprocessed? Is there a curbside service or a local depot to collect the items?

† Use recycling services whenever and wherever possible. If they don’t exist in your community, work to establish them.

Remember:

To recycle is very good,

To repair is better yet,

To reuse is even better,

To reject is best of all!



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