3r's in the Environment

Topics: Recycling, Waste hierarchy, Waste management Pages: 3 (860 words) Published: November 8, 2011
Environmental Issue Reviewed: Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle
An environmental issue that the United States has is the obedience to the concept of the 3R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. People now live in such a consumer driven society that they fail to reason what their habits are causing the environment to become. Forests, oil, and other natural resources are diminishing because of Americans need for more, more, and more of the materials that come from them. But instead of giving back to the Earth, they just toss the unwanted, used products away and move on to the next thing.

Source reduction also known as waste prevention is “the practice of designing, manufacturing, purchasing, or using materials in ways that reduce the amount or toxicity of trash created” (Reduce & Reuse). It is the most favored option out of the 3R’s for environmental protection because it has the lowest in costs and saves the natural resources from destroyed at all. I think though, it is the hardest to exercise because it requires letting go of some very well-known American notions, including: convenience is next to godliness, new trumps old, and of course the bigger the better. (The 3R’s still Rule) Americans are too concerned with the easy life to take care of where they live. However, if they looked at it from the standpoint of simply cutting back their waste development it would significantly detour the amount of waste produced in one year. Research shows that “between 1960 and 2007 the amount of waste each person creates has almost doubled from 2.7 to 4.6 pounds per day” (Reduce & Reuse). That is astonishing how the number has grown within half a century. Waste isn’t even the biggest issue either, water and energy usage is double more than that. It is estimated that if one person set their thermostat a degree higher for air-conditioning and one degree lower for heating not only would you save over $100 a year on utilities but also if everyone followed this suggestion it would provide a...
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