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By Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP:  Precycle.  Stop needless consumption.

Adam Shake with Twilight Earth describes precycling as “the act of ‘not purchasing’ something that would otherwise be recycled or thrown into a landfill.”  It’s a fancy, more compelling word for reducing your consumption.  Remember our mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  Now let’s kick it up a notch: Reduce/Precycle, Reuse, Recycle.  Very catchy.

For many people this decision has been taken out of their hands.  Due to the current economic situation most people do not have a lot of disposable income to spend frivolously.  But we do have a choice:  We can continue to complain about the world’s economic bleakness and blame anyone who seems culpable, or we can embrace this great opportunity we now have to stop and think about how we spend our money.  Some ideas for precycling:

Buy used stuff

Sports equipment, workout equipment, consignment/thrift store clothes, used cars.  There are local shops all of the country that resell anything and everything.  Also, take a look at FreeCycle.com.

Buy local and organic

This has become a priority in our home, not only for the sustainability but for the health benefits.  The more I research conventionally processed foods, I find they’re becoming more and more devoid of nutrition.  But not only are our nutritional needs being shortchanged, we’re getting a lot of things that are making us unhealthy.  From the  irradiation of produce and meat, pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, mercury and who knows what else is allowed to be put in our food in the name of keeping us “safe,” our food supply is slowly killing us.

Meanwhile, it takes connections to the CIA to find and purchase healthy raw milk products in my state.  Thankfully, I can always rely on the Eat Well Guide and Sustainable Table to help me find good food. 

I’m not telling you to stop buying stuff.  I am imploring you to stop and think about the stuff you’re buying.  Do you need that 10-pack of paper towels or could you use and reuse a nice set of dish towels?  Do you need a case of bottled water or could you use a filter for your tap water?  Do you need a brand new Lexus or could you outfit my home with solar panels?  OK, maybe that last one is a stretch…

Be Thoughtful.  Be Green.

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