3R

Yi Sing was asking me how to be environmental-friendly in our daily life. I did not give her a full answer when we were at IS ground. However, my answer is to apply 3R to our daily life. Well, 3R stands for reduce, reuse and recycle, this is a common sense. But it is uncommon to execute them. Among them, my first priority is given to reduce, then reuse and at last recycle.

Reduce is always the best way to protect our environment. Reconsider your need when you are about to purchase something. For instance, we can reject a plastics bag for a tiny purchase. It is far better than accepting the plastics bag and having a thought that: “Oh, I can reuse or recycle it later!” Why? Let us apply some mathematics to prove it.

Let the energy needed to produce a plastics bag be 100 joules.

If we reject it, then the energy usage is 0 joule. No doubt, right? In another word, we consume less one plastics bag. It implies that one plastics bag is prevented from produced.

If we reuse it after the purchase, then we consume less one plastics bag when we need it next time. The first energy usage is 100 joules, and second time is 0 joule. So, the total energy usage is 100 joules.   

If we recycle it, then we consume less one plastics bag next time too! However, don’t forget that we need energy to recycle it. Let the energy needed for recycling is 40 joules. (It must be less than 100 joules, or else the recycling doesn’t fulfill the basic economic requirements.) In total, 140 joules is wasted if we recycle the plastics bag.

It is a good new that recycling becomes quite common in
Sabah now. However, we have to bear in mind that it should be the last step in 3R. Purchase what you really need when you go for shopping. This act is far more efficient than throwing your unwanted things into the recycle bin. 

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