Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

So I grew up with the “Keep America Beautiful” Campaign that taught us all the 3 R’s – first Reduce, then Reuse, then Recycle Jack Johnson even wrote a song about it. As I create more and more websites, blogs, and other digital debris, I have to wonder, does it matter?

I’m preparing a workshop that I taught last year. I made a new site for it because somehow that seems right… I could have altered the last one, but the semester is in the web address and it would have just looked… well, recycled. I’ll hide the old one to avoid confusion, but can’t shake the feeling that there is something off about this – something that goes against that fundamental principle I was taught in grade school.  This isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last site that I make that runs its course and then is outdated, but still existing in some virtual way. These sites don’t take up any space (except server space, but I’m not going to be too concerned about that for these tiny sites), and don’t use any scarce resources.  They require a little bit of time, but all communications do. If anything, the process of creating them and making them available creates more of the resources they use: namely creativity and thought. Unlike plastic bottles and clothes, which only use resources and don’t create anything except more waste.

And if that is what they simultaneously use and create, of course a recycled site would never do. I’ve learned a lot leading this workshop and hope that can be reflected in this delivery of it. I want to offer a better, more organized, and more inspiring experience to the participants, and 2013′s site, syllabus, and organization can only benefit from revision and reevaluation. So, ultimately, I will make a new site, hide the old one, and try not to worry too much about the digital debris…