It has lately occurred to me that of the three R’s–reduce, reuse, recycle–the first two are preferable. It costs us nothing to reduce or reuse, whereas recycling can consume as much energy as product creation in the first place.
It is incredible how much we throw out. Everything comes in disposable packaging: food, beverages, electronics, shampoo.
At Christmas, we add to all of this disposable packaging by wrapping everything. It looks pretty, but is so, so wasteful.
To cut down on this year’s trash, I tried something new. I wrapped gifts using paper that I had saved last year. Although it might seem a bit unconventional, there were enough unwrinkled stretches of paper that the gifts came out looking fine.
Another idea that I tried was wrapping gifts in brown paper bags from the grocery store. With some ribbon, they actually came out looking the nicest. My goal is to wrap all gifts that way next year.
In other news, I have an op-ed in the Washington Post today. I also have a short science fiction story forthcoming in Nature’s January 15, 2015 issue.
I hope everyone has a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season.