Reducing: the FIRST of the three Rs

There's a reason the 3 Rs are listed with "reduce" first. It's the most earth-friendly of the three. It's the stuff that never needs to be created in the first place.

There are really two parts to "reducing." First, we're working to refuse getting new stuff unnecessarily, and second, we're planning to redistribute the excess stuff we have already acquired in the most responsible way we can.

Refusing new stuff

A big part of "refusing" stuff is to question whether we really need what we are about to acquire. Chances are the answer is "No." How much is "enough"? And don't we already have enough?

But if the answer is "Yes,", then instead of buying new stuff, we can look into the redistributing or renting/sharing options.

Redistributing what we already have

The prospect of reducing the excess stuff we've accumulated over the last three or four decades is enough to motivate us to reduce any further purchases! It's just plain boring and time-consuming to handle all the stuff and decide what to do with it all. It's not always easy to decide what should stay and what should go, and then decide how to dispose of the things that must go.

Unlike many people who apparently feel comfortable just chucking perfectly usable (or potentially usable) stuff out to the curb, we feel we need to be responsible and find a place where it can be used. For a lot of stuff, sending stuff to the landfill isn't a responsible option.

Fortunately, as part of the new ideas of collaborative consumption, there are new ways to redistribute stuff, and we'll be experimenting with those options.