Get Ready for Summer School! Tips to Keep Practicing the 3 Rs + 1

School is officially out! A welcome relief from packing lunches, carpool, homework and overall hectic schedules.

So while we take a little break from the traditional 3 Rs of school…let’s not take a break from the 3 Rs concerning our environment. Here are a few ways to keep on practicing these important principles this summer.

Reduce:

With trips to the neighborhood pool and bigger trips to the beach or other vacation places, be aware of the additional waste that can be created. What can you bring along to avoid another juice pouch or water bottle being purchased and disposed of.

Reuse:

As nice as it is to have new items to break out for the summer season, again is it necessary? What do we have that can be reused?  And for that summer reading, used books are a great way to go.  Check out your local library, used book store or online options like Better World Books.  What item can we pass on to a neighbor that we no longer use and where can we purchase pre-owned summer wear and gear to give it another chance. Local consignment shops, Ebay, Goodwill and neighborhood yard sales are all great places to give and receive.

Recycle:

Traveling can often present challenges to recycling efforts especially when there seems to be no collection bin around. If you are determined, bring reusable mugs and cups to avoid the chance of a rogue aluminum can or plastic bottle hitching a ride.  If traveling by car, have a recycle bag on hand to collect your own items and recycle the next time you see the opportunity, or as crazy as it may sound, save until you get home. With air travel, be prepared for the responsibility of properly recycling as well. More and more airports are providing recycling bins so make sure to look around.

And for Extra Credit: Refuse

Do we really need to buy all those little trinkets in the gift shop that ultimately are lost or broken by the time we get home. Is it really necessary to purchase another big plastic float that rips before we even get it in the water. Sometimes the biggest long-term effect we can have is simply to refuse in the first place.

Your Homework Assignment: E-waste

ElectronicsIn this digital age, electronic waste is the fasting growing type of waste. No surprise with the latest and greatest version of mobile devices, laptops, HDTVs and now even digital health trackers being introduced on an ongoing basis. Proper recycling of electronics is critical to the overall health of our world and the global community around us. As you get ready to upgrade or replace any electronics for the upcoming school year, do your homework to find out where to recycle and what steps to take to remove all personal data before doing so.

So even though we may be out of our routine for the carefree days of summer, if we fail to remember these 3 Rs, that plastic soda bottle, trinket and cell phone may still be around long after the amusement park, pool, or museum closes….and that won’t be any fun at all. With a little preparation, education and awareness, we all can have an A+ summer!

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