ArticlesRETURN TO ARTICLES
To pre-cycle is to reuse. It is the forward thought of “How can I reuse this product when I’m done?”. You should ask yourself this question before you make the purchase. The general purpose of precycling is to reduce your carbon footprint by reducing waste. With this objective in mind, you will steer your purchasing toward items with a longer useful life, which also saves money.
Birthday cards, thank you cards, Holiday cards, all types of cards are sent through the mail or given in person throughout the year. These cards are read maybe once with the usual “Ah, thank you.” We have all bought and received cards and, although they are a great gesture, these cards will eventually end up in landfills after spring cleaning.
Growing up, my grandmother’s method of recycling was to use the same card from the previous year and erase the age. Five years in a row, I received the same card with my age reprinted. Recycling has taken on a new form and we can now buy cards using recycled materials. If there is writing only on the back half of the greeting card, this is where pre-cycling comes in. You can reuse the front of an old card as a post card which uses less postage.
Gift wrapping is another item that goes to waste. It may be difficult to re-use wrapping paper after it is torn into pieces, but using recycled gift wrapping paper is the eco-friendly option. Reusable bags made from recycling material are also great alternatives.
Plastic is often used to cover leftovers before putting them away. Reducing your food consumption and saving the leftovers are always a great way to utilize the 3 Rs. Although plastic is much better for the environment than styrofoam, there are tons of plastic that go to waste and clog landfills. The best alternative is to use reusable, air-tight containers to preserve your food while reducing the use of plastic.
Although there are many products that can be reduced, reused and recycled, the greenest alternative is to not purchase products that you do not need. If you don’t need it, leave it.