Radical Resource Efficiency is the concept of using all available resources in a manner that is both highly efficient and sustainable.
What is Resource Efficiency? Resource efficiency is using all your available resources - money, food, water, energy, electricity, gasoline, land, and raw materials - in ways that are not wasteful, but rather maximize their availability and benefit to you. It means using all your available resources wisely, both now and over the long-term.
What is Sustainability? Sustainability is the science of using all available resources in a way and at a rate that does not deplete those resources over the long-term, thus assuring their availability both now and in the future. Sustainability includes both the wise (efficient) use of resources, as well as the replenishment (renewal) of those resources.
What Resource Efficiency and Sustainability are not: Unfortunately, the word "sustainable" in all its forms has been adopted by both marketing companies and leftist ideologues, along with similar terms such as "green" and "eco-friendly." Beware of their use of such terms because they have distorted the meanings to suit their own agendas (profit or power).
Resource efficiency and sustainability are good ideas, and ultimately do benefit both people and the environment. However, these concepts are best implemented voluntarily from the bottom up, rather than imposed from the top down. This helps ensure that the implementation of these concepts are based on what actually works, rather than on unrelated motives (profit, power, control).
Reduce, Repair, Repurpose, and Recycle is one of the key concepts behind radical resource efficiency.
- Reduce through various means the amount of resources you consume.
- Repair worn and broken items whenever possible, rather than participate in the throw-away economy.
- Repurpose items for use in other ways, once their primary purpose has been fulfilled, or they can no longer be repaired.
- Recycle all materials that cannot be repaired or repurposed.
There are, of course, many other concepts which fall under the banner of radical resource efficiency, including solar & wind energy, harvesting rainwater, permaculture, composting, and the simplicity movement, among others. Please watch for future Resource Miser articles for more information and tips.