Skip to Main Content

Renew Your Commitment to the 3 R's!

It’s the time of year when we’re thinking about making things better – ourselves, our families, our homes, and our budgets. As you’re making your resolutions, give some thought to the 3 R’s:


  • Before you buy, ask yourself these questions: Do I need this? Do I already have something like this? Do I need something new right now? Does it have too much packaging? What will I do with this when I no longer need it?
  • Stop making “wish lists.” Oftentimes, the items on a wish list are things you want but don’t necessarily need. Whether you make them online, write them on a scrap of
    paper, or keep them in your head, wish lists keep you thinking about what you don’t have – often creating dissatisfaction with the things you do have.


  • Start your exercise, weight-loss, or other self-improvement program on borrowed or shared equipment. If you stick with the program or hobby, you can purchase your own supplies and equipment later, if you need them. If and when that time comes, remember to look for secondhand equipment.
  • “Shop” at home. You probably have books you haven’t read, movies you haven’t watched, games you haven’t played, kitchen gadgets you haven’t tried, and supplies for hobbies you haven’t started. Put them to use now.
  • Find your library card. The library is a great resource for no-cost entertainment. Look for books, magazines, music, movies, and more. Ask your library about downloads for e-readers and MP3 players, too.
  • Scan your pantry shelves. We all have canned and boxed goods that we purchased but never got around to using. Find recipes for the supplies you already have on hand. Also, pull out food that your family won’t eat. Check the “use by” or “best by” dates and donate unexpired items to a local food pantry or other non-profit organization.


  • Precycle. You do this by shopping for groceries and other products with recycling in mind. Know what you can recycle and choose products packaged in those materials.
  • Collect recyclables and recycle them!
  • Commit to recycled-content products. Successful recycling programs depend on having manufacturers use your recyclables. If you need a new fleece vest or jacket, look for fleece made from recycled soft drink bottles. If you need printer paper, select post-consumer recycled-content paper.