This I Believe

Jessica - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the 3 Rs Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Many degrade “going green” efforts, by coining them with words such as tree hugger, or

granola. When it boils down though, environmental efforts route from sincere gratitude.

This earth has given us a home, and it is our jobs to preserve it and keep it sustainable.

As far as we know, human nature, technology, and evolution in an anomaly. It?s under

Earths conditions that we have been able to grow and prosper as civilized societies.

Which is why this planet, the place we call home is priceless.

It seems that many people feel there is a wealth- earth trade off. In order to prosper,

we must over consume and in consequence leave an irreversible carbon footprint on the

Earth?s surface.

What funny though, is that a lot of companies who have been going green are finding it

actually helps the bottom line. Companies are actually saving money by eliminating

unnecessary packaging, and energy exhausting processes.

Despite the new ?going green? hype. There seems to still be a general lack of genuine

interest. Now more then ever, there is an increasing need to incorporate the 3 Rs into

daily life, keeping in mind that their order is no coincidence.

First and foremost we must reduce. Combating over consumption also fights many other

social issues. Over consumption of food has led to huge health hazards and obesity issues

in the country. Over consumption of goods has led to materialism, loss of values, and the

disintegration of humanitarian concerns. The need for a drive towards more localized

markets is a whole other can of worms. But on a similar note, there are things we can do

to encourage this change. For example buying seasonal foods.

?Many hands make?s for light work.? People need to switch from the, I?m one person what

can I do mentality, to the, if we all do a little, think of how much can get done. The

truth of the matter is that the world is pushing over population. Humans as a prove to

form a powerful force of nature.

The scary part is that detrimental and irreversible global warming isn?t a century away.

It?s more like 10-20 years; we will live the nightmare. The part that?s heartbreaking

isn?t that past generations mindlessly threw this apon us, but the apathy of our


If for no other reason pure fear should encourage us. Flooding of cities, leading to

refugees hitting the millions, famines, droughts, natural disasters far more detrimental

then the worst recordable history has seen, and complete twists and turns in the

ecosystem, whipping out markets.

It?s said that bottle reuse in the US has almost completely disappeared. According to

figures compiled by the Container Recycling Institute, the reuse of beer bottles feel

from 86% of total production in 1947 to less then 1% by 2006, in the United states.

Socially, our attitude encourages more waste, it?s so easy to just throw things away. But

by making small changes, we can reduce our dependence of landfills. This might be the

right time to bring light to the issue, that our landfills have limited space. The US

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently estimated that between 2003 and 2005 in

the US, about 45 per cent of electronic products were store or reused, 11 per cent were

recycled, and 44 per cent entered the waste stream. These look poor figures in a country

where 100 per cent reuse or recycling could be possible.

Small changes make a big difference. Recycling experts will agree that reuse is

ecologically superior. Under reduce, reuse falls second in our Reuse is pollution

prevention hierarchy above recycle