Let’s not forget to reuse.
If I were to take a wild guess about what will be the green-speak six months from now, I guess I’d say this. You know the whole phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” I feel like when the green movement was first getting momentum, it was all about recycling. It was about not throwing stuff in landfills or unnecessarily polluting. More recently, it’s been about reducing… reducing the amount of oil we consume, electricity we use, bottled water we drink, and our carbon footprint.
I think the next phase of the green movement will be about reuse. I think there’s an efficiency argument that people are starting to make. Our office is in a 90 year old building that is one of the smallest LEED platinum buildings in the country. One of the reasons it’s so green is because it’s so old. The company that renovated our building believes the oldest buildings can be the greenest buildings because you can reuse so much of what’s already there.
WIRED magazine published a controversial story awhile back that claimed driving a used SUV is more environmentally friendly than buying a brand new Prius for that very same reason. A few weeks ago, I came across a more lighthearted reuse idea.
The great thing about focusing on reuse is that it’s not about what you should buy or what to get rid of. It’s about making the most of what we already have.