We currently live in a society where there is overconsumption, and this comes with increased garbage, which is a great problem. Each and every year, we recycle more; however, as we do this, we create more garbage. As we create this problem, few people are on board to help develop solutions. The three R’s, which include reduce, reuse and recycle, all functions by helping to cut down on the amount of waste that people throw away.
That said, they help conserve landfill space, conserve natural resources, and energy, among others. These three R’s also help save on money and the land used to dispose of waste in landfills. Acquiring and setting up a new landfill usually comes with great difficulty as it comes with great public opposition, and it’s expensive because of environmental regulations.
Reduce functions by ensuring that the waste is not produced at all. Reuse involves making use of once-used products so that limited waste is thrown away. It helps as it reduces environmental and economic waste in the process. Recycling, on the other hand, is a complex process that involves taking used materials and re-manufacturing them through some set processes, then selling them as new.
35 Amazing Ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
1. Avoid the use of disposable goods, such as lighters, paper cups and plastics. Throwing these objects contribute to greater problems, and they have to be replaced over and over again. Once these goods are disposed of in landfills, there is the probability that they may form breeding sites for diseases. Besides, once these materials are used, there is a need to replace them each time, which is very expensive and costly.
2. Purchase products made from recycled materials. A product that has the recycled symbol means that either it has been made from recycled material or it can be recycled. This is common in plastics that have this recycling symbol, usually with a numbered code that shows the type of plastic resin that this container really is made of. Recycled timber can be used for functions such as making furniture.
3. Use cloth bags when buying groceries or reuse grocery bags. Only take a bag from the grocery store if you need it.
4. Instead of using plastic wraps, use resalable containers. When the plastic bags are used once, there is a need to acquire new ones over and over again; however, resalable containers can be used only once and reused. This cuts on costs a lot.
5. Donate to a charity or sell old clothes, furniture, toys or appliances. Most especially, the furniture can be sold in garage ads and sales. There are times when one needs to change their furniture. Instead of throwing away this furniture, which can be useful to another person, it can instead be sold to those willing to buy or donate to various institutions or individuals who require them most.
6. Instead of using paper cups or bottled water, use coffee mugs or personal water bottles. The coffee mugs and personal water bottles are portable and can be reused every time. However, the plastic cups/bottled water has to be thrown away after each use, thus increasing the amount of waste to be disposed of.
7. Adopt the use of recycled paper for copier paper, letterhead and newsletters. With recycled paper, there is reduced waste, they are cheaper, and are even with high quality.
8. Ensure you buy products in bulk. Purchasing products in large quantities or economy-sized ones usually use less packaging and even cost less per amount. Once a person purchases goods in bulk, it will take long before they buy new ones. Besides, lee packaging will be used as it is only packaged once.
9. Avoid those goods that are over-packaged. There are some goods that are packed with so much material such as plastic, foil and paper. While these materials may be best for their use, one has to pay more for these packages, which is so expensive.
10. Encourage people to buy products that are made from materials that are collected particularly for recycling from the community. If the community has decided to recycle some objects so that they can be reused by people, it is right that people are informed about these products to increase their awareness about these products and use them more.
11. Learn to reuse products in different ways. For example, plastic microwave dinner trays can be used as picnic dishes. Similarly, coffee cans can be used to pack lunch. When an object can be used for one function or purpose, it can similarly be used to perform other functions. This helps save on the costs of purchasing another material to perform other functions.
12. Products can be reused for the same purpose. Broken furniture, appliances and toys can be repaired. We can also save on plastic bagsand paper. A person can carry their own water bottle or even reuse water bottles. This is another form of “reuse.” New is not always necessary, nor is it always better. You’ll be helping your environment and also saving money.
13. Instead of using paper napkins, cloth napkins can be used. Additionally, people can use a refillable form of products such as cleaning products, body sprays and even foodstuffs like juices.
14. Use washable table napkins instead of paper napkins. Cloth napkins are usually much larger and more absorbent than paper products, and they can equally dress up your dinner table.
15. New baby? Buy washable cotton diapers. If you select those with Velcro wraps, they are just as convenient and may even be cheaper than disposable diapers. Check the yellow pages to see if there is a diaper service in your area or look for them at yard sales or charitable outlets.
16. Use electronic mails instead of using papers and envelopes. When conveying some information to someone at work or out of the office, papers may be used, especially when writing the notes manually. So much paper is used; instead of such wastage, electronic mails may be used, which does not involve any wastage or something that may destroy the environment.
17. Use dishcloths instead of using paper towels. Paper towels cannot be reused as they may soak wet. However, dishcloths can be used over and over until it is dirty and thus requires cleaning. When it comes to paper towels, there is a lot of wastage of resources as one has to use more than one each time, which is unlike the dish towels that can be used once in every session.
18. Instead of using several files for various individuals, adopt central files. When making files for each individual, a lot of paper is involved, unlike when a central file is used. Here all the information in regards to the individuals is located at one central place, and thus not so much paper is used.
19. In the workplace, instead of making one-sided copies, one can use two-sided copies. If one-sided copies are made, there will be more use of the papers, which is a wastage of resources when one-sided copies can be used, which are less.
20. Goods that are durable should be preferred. Durable goods with warranties tend to last long; thus, a person saves money in the long run and also saves landfill space. It takes very long for well-built products to be broken; thus, there is reduced disposal of the items.
21. One can wear clothes that do not require dry-cleaning. This practice saves on money and also cuts down on toxic chemical use.
22. The local government can be asked to set up an electronics recycling and hazardous waste collection session. During this time, the used electronic materials are donated or even sold to people who can reuse them instead of buying new ones.
23. The plastic soda bottle, once used, can be reused to make disposable funnels from half of the bottle. The bottom half can be used as a plant greenhouse, and similarly, a scoop from the bottom half can be made.
24. Old newspapers can be reused in a number of ways. Firstly, they can be used as wrap packages in food stores. Secondly, it can be used in shoes that are large to make them tight. Thirdly, old newspapers can be used to protect wet clothing and even muddy car seats. Old newspapers can also be used to firstly dry and then polish windows after washing. They can also be used to start fires.
25. One can check various collection centers and even pick up services so as to see what they accept and also commence collecting those materials. Among the materials that can be collected includes newspapers, plastics, paper products and even oil.
26. At the workplace, one should speak with the managers and ask them to purchase products that can help cut down on waste like products that are not over-packaged or even recycled products. Recycle products are cheaper as compared to the ones that are not even though the quality is still high. When products are over-packaged, their costs reflect in the final cost of the product. The customer, therefore, is the only one who bears this cost.
27. Recycle the small used materials. Small patches of used soaps can be collected and reused for other activities so that they are not thrown away.
28. Composting is your friend. Create a compost bin and throw food scraps and various yard wastes into your compost bin. You can use leaves and yard trimmings to supplement the compost.
29. Composting is often considered a throwback technology, but the vermi-technology can turn organic waste into usable mulch in a fraction of the time it normally takes.
30. Worms can turn our old food into plant food. It’s called vermicomposting. Make a dark house of wooden or plastic bin or other non-metal containers for the worms to live in. A. Make drain holes near the bottom. Fill the bin with moist bedding. Bedding can be paper or newspaper shredded leaves, straw, peat moss, or sawdust. Make sure the bedding is kept very moist like a sponge. Change the bedding once or twice a year.
Feed the worms with fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds, bread, leaves. Dig a hole in the bedding, dump the food in and cover it up with bedding. Pick a new spot each time you add food. Keep them damp and warm. Add water if the bedding feels dry, but make sure the excess water can drain away. Cover the bin with plastic or a tarp during freezing weather.
31. Buy second-hand. Textile waste is rampant in the United States, and purchasing your clothing from second-hand stores will provide you high quality, low-cost clothing items that benefit both you and the environment.
32. Did you know that if you start recycling, you can save 9 cubic yards of landfill space by recycling only one ton of cardboard? Over 87% of citizens in the U.S. are able to have their recycling picked up curbside. Utilizing trash removal and recycling services can help you to manage waste effectively.
33. Use cloth gift bags and stop ripping the paper off gifts! You can use it again if you remove the wrapping paper carefully, and there’s nothing wrong with doing just that! You use canvas or cloth gift bags that can be used in many other ways. That’s a bonus with a gift!
34. Update your computer rather than throwing it out and getting a replacement.
35. Read more and more to know about the 3 ‘R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It is simple and all about minimizing the amount of waste we produce, reusing products as much as we can, and remembering to recycle any materials that can be used for a new purpose.
Real changes can be made to the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling materials. People should therefore embrace these ideas to make the world a better place.