Wednesday March 11

Precycle! Be aware of packaging, buy glass which can be easily recycled, and avoid excess packaging and keep an eye out for recycled containers

“I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.” Jeremiah 2:7

We all know about recycling, but have you considered “pre-cycling?” Rather than producing a load of waste and then trying to recycle it, rather consider how you can buy less packaging. Recycling is a wonderful activity as it allows for all sorts of energy savings- but it’s not a get out of jail free card for our waste. Resources are used, energy is consumed and a degree of pollution follows.

The 3R’s of going green – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – are in that order for a reason. The greenest product is the one you don’t buy, but as we can’t live on air alone then we need to make more informed purchase choices and precycling is related to “Reduce” – the most important of the 3R’s, and also to”Reuse” which is sometimes referred to as“Repurposing”. Precycling is about reducing waste by avoiding items that will generate it, or selecting certain items that will generate less, or acquiring items that can be reused for something else. Being an avid precycler can also save you money too!.

Here are a few examples:

Concentrated products

We’re brainwashed to think more is good, but sometimes less is better. Products such as washing detergents are widely available in concentrated forms, packing as much punch as their water heavy counterparts. Concentrated products reduce packaging, weight and as a bonus – less transport related emissions.


Plastic wrap is a great invention, but one that haunts us once we’re done with it. It ends up in landfill where it’ll slowly decompose for decades if not hundreds of years. A sturdy container with an airtight lid or a washable ziplock bag can take the place of plastic wrap..  Bags, cans and jars Bags can be used for other purposes – particularly breadbags.This also applies to jars and other containers which can be very useful for holding buttons, screws or any other small loose items where you may usually buy a container dedicated to the task.

Forward thinking

When considering purchasing a product, think ahead to what it could be used for once it’s no longer suitable for the original purpose. For example, instead of buying paper towel or paper napkins, cloth napkins can be purchased then can then be used for general cleanups once they get a little grotty, then as they become even grottier, can be used for jobs such as wiping grease off car engines before they are finally disposed of.


Refuse portions of the newspaper that you do not want and ask the shop attendant not to add in all those extra plastic packages. Write to the people sending you junk mail and ask them to stop.

Precycle vs. Recycle

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.