Relearning the 3 Rs

reduce reuse recycleEnvironmental issues are prevalent in the news. Our landfill sites are responsible for a third of all ground water pollution and they produce large quantities of methane gas, which contributes to global warming.

In turn this leads to dramatic climatic events.

We are becoming perilously close to an environmental catastrophe – if you need any persuading of this, then the increasing number of floods, hurricanes, droughts and severe winter storms around the world should convince you. Hardly a nation in the world has been spared with devastating effects for both humans and wildlife.

Landfill waste

A huge percentage of household waste in Britain is dumped in the landfill sites. In Switzerland it is just 11%…………

It may feel that there is nothing left for us to do, or that just doing our ‘little bit’ will have no significant impact. If you feel this way, remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: ‘Think globally, act locally.’ Lots of people doing their ‘little bit’ adds up to significant change!

Set yourself a challenge. Pick one from the following and implement it- if everyone chooses just one simple thing think of the effect globally. I can hear Mother Nature breathing a sigh of relief already!

Reduce waste

-) Don’t buy over-packaged goods or products contained in packages larger than necessary. Ask yourself, why does a tube of toothpaste have to be in a cardboard box or cereal packets contain only 40% food and 60% air? Complain to retailers, manufacturers and trading standards when you see such products.
-) Take your own bags with you when you shop
-) Decline bags for individual purchases – your receipt is proof of purchase
-) buy lose vegetables rather than pre packaged. Some stores sell cereals, nuts, dried fruit, even pet food and washing powder in huge bins that you can self-serve from.
-) buy drinks in large bottles rather than individual ones and decant at home
-) compost your kitchen waste
-) buy refills rather than new products (washing powder for example) wherever possible


-) Give carrier bags to charity shops, re-use them for your own shopping or look for collection points in the supermarkets
-) Put out your milk bottles!
-) Open envelopes with a paper knife and re-use them
-) Suppliers will re-use egg boxes if they are clean
-) swap magazines with friends.
-) use washable cloths instead of tissues / kitchen roll / nappy wipes. Use real nappies and washable sanitary products instead of disposables.
-) use both sides of paper – often junk mail has a blank side; use it to write shopping lists etc.
-) use old crockery for picnics instead of buying plastic


-) buy recycled products wherever you can and look for items from sustainable sources.
-) Most councils have recycling facilities for paper, cans, glass bottles, green waste. – find out what is available and use the facilities on offer.
-) use refillable and reusable containers – most bodyshop stores will refill their bottles and you get a discount too!


  1. London hypnotherapist on January 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Excellent post I must say.. Simple but yet interesting and engaging.. Keep up the good work!

  2. Neil on January 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Great tips, Mrs Green. One of the problems is many people are only too keen to recycle their inevitable waste, but many Councils are lagging behind the implementation of a more comprehensive recycling system.

  3. Mrs Green on January 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    @Neil: Thanks Neil I agree with you; it really is time for some kind of system where we are all doing the same thing across the country. In my perfect recycling world there would only be a handful of plastics used, all of which would be marked, easily recyclable and the facilities would exist in the UK to deal with it all – maybe one day 😉