Magazine article Technology and Children

The Mission to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Magazine article Technology and Children

The Mission to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Article excerpt

Have you heard the tall tale that we can shop our way to a safe and healthy existence? Marketing experts are always selling us a bill of goods. Consumer companies have told us that snazzy automobiles would make us happy and low-calorie sodas would make us thinner and more popular. But, there are some things that money and fancy ads can't buy, and a clean environment tops the list.

The truth of the matter is that branding choices cannot solve global warming, deforestation, and other challenges to our planet. It takes resources (energy at the very least) to manufacture and transport all products, even those made from recycled content. Spent resources leave our planet less rich, not better off.

So, what are three great ways we can eliminate waste and protect our environment? Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Most people assert that the most effective of the 3 Rs is Reduce--using fewer resources to begin with. This is the most difficult for people because it requires that we relinquish the "American way"--bigger is better, new triumphs over old, and convenience is sanctioned by the Almighty. Reduce doesn't mean we must let go completely; to me it means taking stock of where we are and cutting back.

In the case of new technologies, however, extravagance might be the way to go. For example, a supercharged computer will still run the software that comes out two years from now, and a larger monitor might accommodate the increasingly wider Web pages that companies will be building in the future. …

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