How about 5 Rs?
This past weekend I was listening to CBC Radio One while doing some work for a friend in his basement. While listening to Definitely Not The Opera, host Sook-Yin Lee brought up a very good point in terms of the “3 Rs”. I have previously argued that there should be 4 Rs, with “Repair” being added to the traditional three. Well, Sook-Yin brought up another one that Sarah McGaughey has been praciting that is equally valid, yet almost unexercised in Western society: Refuse.
A good part of the problem is overpackaging of consumer goods. Personally, I like how Germany handled packaging concerns with their Green Dot program. Until something similar happens over on this side of the pond, refusing to accept over-packaged items may be your only alternative to having to attempt to reuse, recycle, or landfill excess packaging. Bottled water – I’m looking at you.