Now, let's talk about the five R's of zero wasting. And as we said before, zero wasting is not something everyone wants to do or is willing to go to, we can all take small steps and use what works with our lifestyle.
The five R's are:
And yes, they are in order, our use of materials and products should go from the top to the bottom. So let's start breaking them down.
This one is a simple one but the one that takes the most practice, just say no! Say no to straws, papers, plastic bags, extra stuff that you will carry for 15 minutes and then throw away. This one will help you eliminate a lot of waste from the very beginning.
For this one to work you need to be prepared, look into reusable, alternatives like a coffee cup, bamboo utensil set, and reusable straw. Keep them in your bag, and you'll always be able to refuse the single-use materials.
This one is all about being mindful of what you need and want, go over your clothes, shoes, bags, entire house and keep what you really use, the rest you can sell or donate.
Be realistic about what you actually need. Before making purchases, ask yourself if you really need this item. If you do, look at the quality. While price is a huge factor, try to find the best quality in your budget. Well made products will last longer, reducing the times you'll need to repurchase.
Reusing and repairing go hand in hand. Remember how our mothers and grandmas would fix and repair everything? We have gotten to a point where everything is replaceable and that is hurting our planet. When you're deciding whether to toss something and buy a new one, ask yourself if you can find a way to reuse or repair it.
Reusing also means selling or donating your used items so they go to loving homes instead of the landfill. You can also reuse by buying second hand. Shop at thrift and antique stores and go to yard sales.
This one is easy, you actually don't have to do that much! Look into composting your food scraps, boxes, and papers. It's an easy way to help mother earth and get some quality soil for your plants. If you have a yard you can get a composting bin, but if you live in an apartment you can look into having a worm bin.
Recycling should always be your last option, you have to go through all the above before something goes into recycling. not every state has the same facilities for recycling and not everything will get recycled; some of it will still end up in a landfill. Look into the recycling process in your city and opt for materials that are easily recyclable, like this, you know that what you are putting there will indeed get recycled.
Ensure that you're sorting properly and that you're cleaning packaging before recycling it, as it can't be properly recycled if it isn't cleaned of food and residue.
We hope these R's will help you understand how we should be treating everything we get, once it's in our hands we are the owners of it and we are responsible for the correct disposal of it.