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The Environment & Recycling

When environmentalists are championing the cause of conservation and protection of habitats, it seems crass to use the proverb “killing two birds with one stone”. Yet, there is perhaps no other aphorism that captures as pithily the essence of what marketers are doing by cleverly piggybacking on the growing concern for the environment.

Environment & Recycling

For example, some insurance companies promise to make a donation on your behalf to an environment charity. All other things being equal, why would someone not choose such a deal? Unless of course, a competitor offers a straight discount! Then there are organisations such as The British Heart Institute, which seek to raise funds for its research by selling second-hand items that people like you and I donate.

Old mobile phones in working condition may be attractive to some buyers who cannot afford a new phone. Imagine how much money can be raised from the estimated 75 million mobile phones that are believed to be lying unused in homes across the UK. The RSPB seeks to raise funds by tying up with other companies (e.g. utility and insurance). It receives a certain amount of donation for every customer who comes in via the RSPB.

Such arrangements represent a “win-win” opportunity for all stakeholders. Members of the public are able to save money via discounts on products and services they need; other citizens are able to buy used gadgets at a significant discount to the original price, thereby improving their quality of life. Charities are able to raise funds to support their programmes. This often serves to fill the budgetary gaps caused by a drop in government support. But most importantly, because people are motivated to behave in ways that contribute to protecting the environment, our earth and its inhabitants are all winners.

Buy new, but buy recycled

Environmental protection and sustainable development too require the loop to be closed. Unless individuals buy products made of recycled material, there is no point in having recycled them in the first place. Buying certain kinds of recycled products, such as paper, is becoming quite common. Many companies use recycled paper to print their annual reports, thereby visibly signalling their commitment to sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint. But there are many other kinds of recycled products that you and I can purchase for our homes.

There are web sites that help you buy recycled products. All you need to do is go to these web sites, select what kind of product you’re looking for, and click on the “search” button. How about buying a bag made from old (but clean) t shirts? These bags are quite spacious and you can carry them easily when you go shopping. You can also buy brooches made of recycled silk fabric. You can make your own style statement with lampshades made from polished coconut shells. In fact, you can even buy refrigerators, washing machines and freezers that are recycled.

Whether you’re a student trying to set up your pad or a working professional looking to save some money, do think of buying recycled materials before you buy something new. Save money and the environment too.

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