The Three R’s

Hello EcoDesi here.

So I recently bought a laptop. And in order to be green (and save a few bucks) I decided to buy a slightly used one. I found a shop close to my home that calls itself a computers and electronics outlet. I just walked in and started asking questions. This was my first experience in buying a laptop so I wasn’t sure what I needed but the sales guys were very helpful.

It turns out that the store leases their machines to small to medium sized businesses in the area and when the lease is done, they then sell those machines to the general public. And I loved it. Not only was I getting a top of the line machine at a cheap price (I confirmed this with the IT guy at my work) but I was also implementing one of the Three R’s of the Environmentalist’s mantra: Reuse.

For those of us who are not familiar with the three R’s they are: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Most of us only think of Recycling when we think of being environmentally conscious. But as the following chart shows the three R’s are listed in order of priority and Recycling is the last of the 3 while Reducing in the most favoured of the tree:

REDUCE: The main gist of this is …

• Buying less

• Buying long lasting things with the least amount of packaging. This way we throw away less of what we buy.

• Fixing things when they stop working. Instead of throwing it away and replacing with something else

REUSE: Buying a perfectly working used good (case in point my laptop story) or selling/giving away the things that you don’t use to someone who will use it. These are all good and noble things to do my friend. Try it. You won’t be disappointed

In my opinion, Reducing and Recyling are the hardest for us North Americans to do because our society and economy tells us to buy, buy, and buy. But if we put a little effort into it we can change our buying habits, have less impact on the earth and save a few bucks along the way.

RECYCLE: As defined in Wikipedia, Recycling is the breaking down of a used item into raw materials which are used to make new items. This is also a noble thing because it means less extraction of materials from the earth but the reason why it is not rated highly is because implementing this takes up a lot of energy in breaking down the items and making new things. For a list of items that can and cannot be recycled please see my earlier post.

So I am happy to say that my laptop is working well and I’m happily typing away right now.  It was truly a great buy and it makes me think that the next time I’m in the market to buy something I’ll definitely check out the slightly used options before I look at the brand new options.

Anyway until next time.  Take care people.

About the Author:

Zehra (EcoDesi) is a programmer by profession, environmentalist by nature.  She believes that no effort is too small and everyone should think of this earth as a gift as opposed to a right.  The EcoDesi mantra is that when we take into account the monetary cost of buying something then let us also look at the environmental cost.

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