Reduce is first in the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle hierarchy. Reducing what you buy and reusing what you have will save more natural resources, create less pollution, and consume less energy than recycling alone.
Americans are huge consumers of material goods. Some say that with our consumption comes industry and prosperity. However, if everyone on earth consumed food and material goods at the same rate as Americans, we would need four earths worth of natural resources to sustain that consumption.