From http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/explore/reduce/:

Three great ways YOU can eliminate waste and protect your environment!

Waste, and how we choose to handle it, affects our world’s environment—that’s YOUR environment. The environment is everything around you including the air, water, land, plants, and man-made things. And since by now you probably know that you need a healthy environment for your own health and happiness, you can understand why effective waste management is so important to YOU and everyone else. The waste we create has to be carefully controlled to be sure that it does not harm your environment and your health.

ReduceReuseRecycleWhat exactly is “waste?”

Here’s a list (not exhaustive, by any means):

  • Code that doesn’t get used
  • Log entries that give no information
  • Comments that echo the code
  • Tests that you don’t understand
  • Continuous integration builds that aren’t consistently green
  • Estimates that you aren’t confident in

How can you help?

You can help by learning about and practicing the three R’s of waste management: Reduce, reuse, and recycle!

  • Reduce – do less. Don’t do something because that’s what you’ve always done. Do it because it adds value; because it helps you or a colleague or a customer; because it’s worth it.
  • Reuse – repetition kills. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually. Death by a thousand cuts. Eliminate pointless repetition,  and go DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) for January. You’ll enjoy it so much, you’ll never go back.
  • Recycle – is there nothing to salvage? Really? When you find yourself building that same widget from scratch again, ask yourself “why didn’t I recycle the last version?” Was it too many implicit dependencies? Or was the granularity of your components not fine enough? Try building cohesive, decoupled components. Practice doing it – it gets easier.