In a past post, I wrote about a man who picks up bottles (litter) while he runs. He’s a hero in my book. A real leader.

In addition to cleaning up litter, leaders reduce, reuse, and recycle. I don’t know want to get into a global warming debate. Whether or not people are adversely impacting the climate, reducing, reusing, and recycling are the right things to do.

My wife and I are fanatical about recycling. We toss nearly every scrap of paper in our house into the recycling bin (after shredding material with confidential information, such as bank statements.)

When I say nearly every scrap of paper, I mean it: Post-it notes, envelopes, our kids’ old homework – everything. We do the same thing with bottles and cans. We never intentionally toss them in the regular trash – and if I discover a recyclable item that was accidentally put in the regular trash, I’ll go to a pretty gross extreme to dig it out (and I’m not suggesting you go to the extremes I do.)

Meanwhile, while I’ve been aware of the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” catchphrase for a long time, I never gave it much thought until my son lived in Canada for college. He remarked about the huge difference between the U.S. and Canada when it comes to reducing and reusing.

The difference is particularly noticeable in supermarkets. I’ve experienced it myself. In the supermarkets I’ve been to in Montreal, they ask if you want a bag. In the U.S., they ask if you want paper or plastic. More people are bringing their own bags to U.S. supermarkets, but it’s still a tiny percentage of people. I now keep reusable bags in my car, and even after I started doing that it took me a while to adopt the habit (I kept forgetting that I had the bags in the car.)

How have you taken a leadership role in reducing and reusing, and what other comments and ideas do you have regarding recycling? Join the conversation…

Best regards,