The 5 R’s is a concept which people can use to govern their own lives to reduce their daily waste to a net zero. They are:
- Refuse: Say no to the things in life you don’t need!
- Reduce: Anything which is no longer useful donate or sell. Then choosing only to focus on purchases which are necessary.
- Reuse: Utilise reusables & move away from disposable items.
- Recycle: Recycling is very important and our main solution for reducing waste in our lifestyle. In truth, it is still not as important as the 3 R’s above.
- Rot: Compost your entire household waste.
The 5 R’s of Zero Waste Living
Refusing products is the first step to reducing unnecessary products into your household & the environmental impact that these wasteful products have. Products such as single-use shopping bag is one of the main culprits! As stated by the Biological Diversity, “Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year”, if not more, which has a drastic impact on our environment.
According to Daily Sabah, “It can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to decompose in landfills”. Saying ‘No’ to begin with & finding an alternative solution is a quick fix.
Give your house a deep cleanse of everything that has no purpose & give them to charities instead of disposing. Having a clutter free home helps to highlight the necessary products in your life. This helps to reduce the number of redundant products you purchase & helps you to only focus on the ones which your use often.
Reusable products are the essential tool kit of someone who is attempting to live zero waste. Products of the highest of utility should be focused on, some people would refer to this as a Zero Waste Kit.
The zero waste kit helps to reduce waste in every aspect of your life. From reusable shopping bags, to package free bathroom products.
As reported by Recycle Across America, “Recycling a single aluminium can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours.”
Once you have applied the first 3 R’s (Refuse, Reduce & Reuse) to your lifestyle the next step is to recycle anything else you acquire after that point. Understanding the local recycling policies in place in your local community & integrate this into your lifestyle at home.
Greener Kirkaldy indicates, “When thrown into landfill, food waste produces a large amount of methane. As food rots and degrades, it emits these harmful gases which are 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere.” Compost as much as possible at home & only purchase the food you need. This helps to reduce the amount of waste produced to begin with & reduces the amount that travels to landfills.
Use your composted waste around the household to provide your plants with a rich source of nutrition. This is a much better way to utilise your organic food waste!
Why are the 5 R’s important?
As stated by Meow Meow Tweet, “The Five Rs give us a new framework for dealing with waste in our lives, in part by helping us acknowledge the habits that lead to more waste and more trash.” By understanding the waste we produce it can help us become more sustainable as an individual & as a community.
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