Repeat After Me: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

gogreen.JPGThe United Nations conference on climate change started a few days ago (December 3) in Bali, and will last until December 12. The event, called the Conference of Parties is the 13th in a series of meetings designed to allow nations to sit together, discuss and decide on measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It’s very important for all nations to work out a solution to the climate change problem together since what one nation does impacts everyone else (and vice versa: what one nation doesn’t do also impacts everyone else). The 3rd COP in 1997 resulted in the famous Kyoto Protocol, and many people hope that this Bali conference will result in more concrete steps and commitments by all nations. You can follow the conference proceedings live and through the online newsletter updated hourly.

As fashionistas, each of us can contribute to reducing the impacts of climate change. The key words: reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce doesn’t mean that we have to stop shopping altogether, since our purchases also contribute to economic well-being of others. But as consumers our choices are powerful instruments of change. We can support vendors that clean up after themselves and use environmentally-friendly ingredients, and reduce purchases from vendors that are not responsible in their manufacturing practices. The forums at Fashionese Daily are a great clearing house for swapping products that otherwise might end up in the trash can, unused, or redundant. Drive less and use public transport system more, like FD members who carpool to meet-ups. And since we live in a tropical country in Indonesia, ask your office manager to set the air conditioning at a higher temperature, that way you can loose the bulky clothes, and the office can save money!

Recently in FD’s Today’s Outfit forum a member sported a very elegant blouse altered from a vintage wedding gown—this is the perfect example of reuse. Some shoes, bags and clothes from years back are made of really good quality material–it’s a shame for them to languish in the attic or, even worse, end up in the garbage dumps! Boxes and wrapping papers can also be used again for storage and gift-giving. I’m glad I saved a few of my empty moisturizer jars, just perfect for storing my shared portion of mineral makeup. I also found those empty transparent ice cream tubs the perfect storage for my bead necklaces.

Recycling is a bit hard to do at home, especially for us juggling a career, home, and personal life. Luckily, recycling has become a lucrative job for many people, so there is a ready market for unused plastics, bottles, papers, etc. Support the army of scavengers by separating your trash at home; this way, more stuff get recycled.

So what’s your strategy to reduce, reuse and recycle? I bet you got some savvy ones—come on, share it here!

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