Jan 23, 2007

3 R's, maybe 4

Yesterday I went to Office Max w/ my roommate who needed to get school supplies (pens, printer ink, and cd-rw discs). While we were there I saw a very low cost printer. It was cheap b/c it was refurbished. That got me thinking about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and wondering where refurbishment falls into that scheme. I think Refurbishment is actually better than recycling b/c you don't have to alter the parts, just reassemble them.
Here are some EPA definitions and thoughts on the 3 R's. I added Refurbish between Reuse and Recycle.

Reduce: Waste prevention, or "source reduction," means consuming and throwing away less. Source reduction actually prevents the generation of waste in the first place, so it is the most preferred method of waste management and goes a long way toward protecting the environment.

Reusing items -- by repairing them, donating them to charity and community groups, or selling them -- also reduces waste. Reusing products, when possible, is even better than recycling because the item does not need to be reprocessed before it can be used again.

Refurbish To restore to attractive or serviceable condition; renovate.

Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. here's more to recycling than setting out your recyclables at the curb. In order to make recycling economically feasible, we must buy recycled products and packaging.


JHop said...

About your comments on reusing: I'm a great fan of the swap shops that some communities establish at their trash dumps. In Henniker, N.H., for example, there's a garage-like building where people take their reusable stuff. We found a nifty flight bag for our daughter there, and we have three darned good pieces of furniture that were reclaimed there and refinished.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel,

I liked your adding a fourth "R" and I would like to share that information. Would you be okay with my taking and copy and pasting this into my own compacting journal?


Anonymous said...

re reuse recycle refurbish etc..there are some things I find really hard to know where to place..computer and other techno stuff.
Nothing wrong with it just doesnt go with the current model. All scsi fittings! Zip drive?? external modem??

I have given some to op shops but would rather know they are being used usefully. Computer people dont want to know/have no answers.
thanks - t