Here's a 1994 article from Environmental Defense entitled "Precycling: How to Shop for Future Generations". Precycling is an awkward term in need of a philologist, but it's an interesting concept as True Blue Liberal starts the run-up to Earth Day 2005 on April 22. Note their suggestions on how to reduce the amount of waste you create by buying in bulk and cutting down on packaging. How about cutting the amount of newsprint that you have to recycle by 80, 90, or 100%? How many of us are doing it already by reading our New York Times and Washington Post and LeMonde and Libération and LA Times and San Francisco Chronicle and Asbury Park Press and Guardian and Village Voice just by clicking a link or a bookmark? There's no need for us to feel guilty about recycling advertising circulars and sports sections and classifieds and stock market tables that we don't even glance at. And we're giving nothing up in the bargain (except for maybe those full-page underwear ads in the Times), and getting a much wider selection of the worldwide mainstream media than the small sample that used to be tossed toward the puddle in front of our front door. This month, let's all think about every purchase we make to reduce the waste our economic system depends on, but especially paper products like newspapers and magazines that we might be able to read just as easily on the computers that we're already staring at.
More suggestions for the month are welcome.