Reduce Reuse Recycle ♲ – Is That All There Is To It?
Reuse Reduce Recycle ♲: Many of us are familiar with the 3 Rs, which are reduce, reuse, and recycle. But did you know that 2 other Rs exist? Let me discuss with you further.
Waste management seems simple, right? I mean, all you have to do is throw it in the proper bin and let it be recycled. But why does pollution keep rising, then? Every year, Australia produces about 660,000 tonnes of plastic waste. Homes in Australia usually produces the two most common household waste -plastic packaging and food waste. And they produce about 1.5 tonnes of them per year.
So, my question to you: Are the 3 Rs enough to combat pollution and implement proper waste management? Answer: No, they are not enough. But now, there are 2 more Rs that will make sure to do so.
A Bit About Waster
Before we discuss the other 2 Rs besides reduce, reuse, and recycle; let me first share with you Waster.
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Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot!
Many of us were not taught of the 5 Rs of sustainability in school. For a while, teachers often discussed the 3 Rs, which is reduce, reuse, and recycle. But what we did not know is that there appears to be 2 more. These are refuse and rot. Additionally, you have to prioritise them in order: Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Rot.
Got you curious, right? Well, let me elaborate them to you further.
This R is the easiest to explain, in my opinion. This means you have to refuse things you do not need. Do not buy something you know you will not use. If you do not buy what you do not need, you wouldn’ have to worry about disposing of it.
Let me state some examples. First, remove junk mail and other unnecessary items you receive in your mailbox. Second, maybe you’re going to the market to buy some goods. If yes, then try not to accept plastic bags when purchasing consumable goods. Bring your own eco-friendly bag. Small actions like that help the environment. You can also refuse to use paper cutlery in restaurants, and opt to bring a Tupperware, instead. Additionally, bring with you a reusable cup when drinking water in a restaurant – or in other public places, instead of purchasing bottled water. Check out our blog on plastic bottle recycling.
This is one of the most common Rs to many people. You almost always hear people say “reduce, reuse, and recycle” in waste management. Now, reducing means cutting down the consumption in everything, which is quite obvious. For example, you can buy used clothes in good condition instead of buying new ones. This means you help the environment by saving resources, all the while saving up money. Another example would be to look for products with less packaging. Additionally, buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
Another one of the most common Rs: Reuse. To reuse means to utilise materials over and over again if possible. It helps keep waste off landfills and reduces greenhouse gases. Furthermore, it helps in building a sustainable future for the environment. When exercising, choose to bring a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic water bottles. If you’re into reading books, why not go to the library and scan for books that interest you instead of buying and disposing of it later? Or if you do decide to buy one, you can try to donate it to others when you no longer read it. Speaking of donating, you can also try to donate -or sell if you want to make a profit- of your pre-loved items like clothes, toys, and other types of items.
Perhaps the most popular of the original 3 Rs, it is the preferred option of many people in eliminating waste. But in reality, it should be quite the opposite. Recycling should be the last option in treating waste. Remember that recycling comes last in “reduce, reuse, and recycle” First, recycling is very costly. State-of-the-art recycling facilities and machines cost a lot more than what we think. Second, not all materials can be recycled over and over again. Paper can only be recycled for about 5-7 times before losing its recyclability. Meanwhile, the common plastic can only be recycled for 7-9 times. Nevertheless, recycling still plays an important part in implementing an effective waste management system. Make sure to separate each recyclable material into its proper bin. To make sure if the item is recyclable or not, contact your local council and enquire.
This applies to all biodegradable materials like food waste, garden waste, paper products (like nappies, towels, coffee cups, among others), or any other organic waste materials. Decompose them the proper way.
Reduce And Reuse, Then Recycle And Rot
In doing this blog, I read a very helpful article made by worthwhyle. Remember that there is a reason why the 5 Rs of sustainability are ordered in that way. Before you even think of lavishly buying different types of products because of the availability of recycling and decomposing, you have to think of the sustainability of the environment. By this, I mean prioritising reducing and reusing before recycling and decomposing.
Basically, what this means is that the first goal in implementing an effective waste management strategy is to first find ways on how to reduce and reuse materials. Only after those two would recycling and decomposing be considered – which is the second goal.
Reduce Reuse Recycle: Conclusion
We all should practise the 5 Rs of sustainability. This ensures proper waste management practices. Additionally, the first goal should be reducing and reusing, and the second goal then should be recycling and decomposing.
Waster: Things You Need To Know
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