Going green is an expression for making environmentally friendly decisions regarding the treatment of planet earth. This necessitates implementing lifestyle choices that have positive impact to preserve our precious land, sea, and air. People are called to guard resources and minimize carbon footprints, the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by a person, event, or product expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent. Based on scientific consensus, greenhouse gases are a cause of global warming and climate change. Per a 2022 study by Pew Research Center, despite falling short of backing a complete break with fossil fuels, Americans largely favor the U.S. taking steps to become carbon neutral (balancing out the total amount of carbon emissions to help the earth) by 2050. Overall, we can all play a part in making the world a better place by looking toward a sustainable future. Here are three R’s, a global initiative for waste minimization aimed at saving our planet from pollution and helping to keep the environment clean.
- Reduce: means generating less waste in everyday life. Americans tend to own a lot of material things that get tossed when a product’s usage ends. Much of this ends up in landfills While some waste is unavoidable, one can simply buy less of what they don’t need to reduce the amount of waste we generate. Also, one might opt to use less dangerous products to cut down on hazardous waste or choose to avoid purchasing products with unnecessary packaging, as additional examples.
- Reuse: means that an object is used more than once. This involves finding new ways to use things that would otherwise be thrown away. Here are a few examples. When shopping, opt for reusable bags over disposable plastic or brown paper bags. Reuse a travel mug rather than use disposable paper cups. When possible, buy used items rather than new, and donate items you no longer use rather than toss them.
- Recycle: means the use of waste itself as a resource. It involves changing an item through a manufacturing process to give it new life. For example, aluminum cans can be recycled into new ones. Or, used paper can be recycled into toilet paper. Folks can do their part by sorting trash and using recycling bins for the collection of goods. Recycling ultimately prevents pollution by reducing material in landfills, cutting back on energy use, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions caused by harvesting new raw materials.
People largely agree that it’s important to treat the environment with care. Unfortunately, there is some disagreement on how to go about doing so and it has become a political issue. Those leaning politically left generally favor stricter federal government mandates. This risks trampling on the rights of businesses and individuals and can lead to economic and other hardships. Those leaning right generally prefer a softer approach by supporting certain policy proposals to deal with climate change. However, some caution this does not do enough to curtail damage to the planet fast enough. Politics aside, it remains within our reach to individually act as responsible stewards of the planet by reducing, reusing, and recycling, so that we may leave a cleaner earth for future generations.