The three R’s of “reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic” are important but they are being supplemented by the four R’s of Consumer conservation:
“Rethink, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle“.
Conservation deals not only with habitat but with our daily habits. This social ethic suggests that we subscribe to the local production and purchasing of food products, the efficient use of renewable resources, the moderation of and the destructive use of finite resources, and the prevention of harm to common resources such as air and water quality, paying attention to the natural functions of a living earth.
ReTHINK: We must reconsider our daily habits and the ultimate cost of our immediate needs and demands.
REDUCE: Reducing the amount of waste and items you quickly dispose of is the best way to help the environment.
ReUSE: Find ingenious ways to use an item a second or third time. Don’t just throw it away!
RECYCLE: Many of the common items that we use and consume on a daily basis can be reconstituted and used in a variety of ways thus preserving natural resources and reducing our consumption of energy.
Decades of unchecked sprawl have taken a huge toll not only on the quality of people’s lives, but also on the quality of our natural environment. Uncontrolled development has led to increasing traffic congestion, fewer options for outdoor recreation, and too often, higher taxes. In contrast, smart growth represents a new approach to planning our communities in a way that provides more options for where we build and how we live. It is an approach that allows communities to make considered choices about their future.
Poorly planned development can fragment natural habitats. It does not have to be this way. Around the country communities are taking a fresh look at how to more intelligently plan for their future. Many of these efforts focus on creating green infrastructure—parks, preserves, and ecological corridors that complement the more traditional built-infrastructure, such as roads, sewers, and electrical grids.
Protecting and maintaining ecologically important areas for the benefit of people and wildlife is key to creating healthy and stable human communities. National surveys of the most desirable and livable communities routinely show the importance of easy access to open space and natural areas.