Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

I read an article yesterday about the role some former landfill sites now play in helping maintain Britain’s biodiversity. It’s great to think that this is happening, but it doesn’t take any of us off the hook for considering the environment much more carefully. More slowly than I’d have liked, I’ve cottoned on to how important the order is of these three words:

Reduce.

Reuse.

Recycle.

We can’t rely on recycling (which is really downcycling, most of the time) even though it seems an attractive solution. Reuse is better and is really a better form of recycling – assuming it incurs lower environmental cost during the transition.

Reduce is the best strategy for minimising environmental harm. It’s at odds with consumption capitalism and therein lies an enormous problem, requiring a radical solution. Hopefully the solution will distribute wealth more fairly, as it creates a healthier planet.

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