We've all heard it before, but the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra is one we should still be heeding.

iBerkshires.com  reports that was the message a group of environmental advocates gave to the approximately 100 participants in the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition forum on Friday, titled "Moving Toward Sustainable Living in North Berkshire": Do what you can to help reduce your own footprint.

Elena Traister, professor of environmental studies at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, got the ball rolling by reminding the audience of the importance of those "three Rs" — but also of their pitfalls. For example, the trendy topic lately is banning single-use plastic bags, but many people already reuse such bags for things garbage bin liners and kitty litter. So the bags are being reused, but they still will end up in the landfill — but if they weren't given out at stores people might just go buy some, which goes against the "reduce" suggestion.

"It's a tricky issue," Traister said. "You need to think carefully about what the best option is."

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