What a great topic for discussion - one that we should be having on a regular basis to ensure everyone becomes exposed in some way to 'reduce, reuse, recycle' as pointed out by "pophnei."
One of the ways to do this is through education. Children need to learn the importance of recycling, not just from their parents, but in their school environment. Learning by example is also paramount. Schools (and I know some do) and community organizations should have comprehensive programs in place to encourage and support waste management. How simple is it to rinse bottles and tins, squash them and recycle them along with newspaper and paper - especially considering the volumes of these items in schools. I know plastic is more challenging but we're overcoming that problem too - through education.
Also print less from the computer, save your e-statements to a 'stick' instead of copying them, dry your clothes naturally whenever possible ( a reliance on technology can make us lazy!!). What about turning off the TV and engaging in some good, old-fashioned conversation??
Some schools hear the mention of the words 'support programs' when it comes to getting involved and envisage enormous set-up costs. However, it is very inexpensive to set up programs for recycling and space is a bigger issue as waste needs to be separated. To the many schools that do already do this, that's great and it is up to parents to then ensure that the environment at home is conducive to continuing the recycling process. Again, a cheap but life-changing process!
Repurposing is a new catch - word and can be added to the 'reduce, reuse, recycle' mantra. It's exciting to see old, seemingly useless objects turned into new furniture and so on with minimal effort, a little bit of vision and without any harmful effects on the environment.
And let's not forget all the natural resources out there. It's time for
the arrogance of humanity
to have a reality check and for us all to do our own little bit.
So let's educate and innovate - even on a small scale - and make our contribution.