St. Louis on the Air
4:49 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Beyond Recycling: How Do You Lessen Your Environmental Impact?

When it comes to the economy, a rise in consumer spending is seen as an indicator of  better times ahead. But when it comes to the environment, increased consumer spending can have a downside.

"Consumption is a problem because that's really the root driver of our environmental problems," said Madalyn Coici, waste prevention specialist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

When people think about lessening their environmental footprint, they tend to think about the best way to dispose of products, but the greatest environmental impact actually comes with the original creation of the product, said Coici.

A discussion about how the over consumption of goods and services adversely affects the environment and efforts to counter it.

Coici's premise is that because manufacturing uses energy and resources and can cause pollution, people should take a closer look at their consumption habits.

Jean Ponzi, green resources manager at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Earthways Center, agreed.

"The three Rs are: reduce, do you need it in the first place? Reuse: get it fixed, pass it on. Is it something that you can pick up, that you can reuse? And then recycle. And they happen in that order for a very good reason," said Ponzi.

Coici recommended buying quality products to help prolong its use, and looking into fixing something before replacing it.

Beyond the environment, Ponzi said an over-emphasis on consumption has implications for quality of life.

"What are your values?" asked Ponzi. "Are you defining success and happiness and quality of life by the amount of stuff you can buy?"

Related Events

Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice Present Madalyn Cioci in "Enough Is Enough"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

7:00 p.m.

Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road

Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice Website

Green Homes and Great Health Festival

Saturday, September 28, 2013

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Missouri Botanical Garden

(314) 577-5100

Missouri Botanical Garden Website

St. Louis on the Air provides discussion about issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh.

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