The rule of the three Rs ( reducing, reusing, recycling...)., weare all very familiar with it, is preached as one of the main rule for an environmentally friendly lifestyle. But are all the Rs the same? On the half way point on my #julyplasticfree challenge I want to bring a reflection on all three and their role on my journey.
Reducing has definitely been the biggest - generally I tend to follow a minimalistic lifestyle where I already don’t buy anything that I don’t need. But how can we reduce on our daily needs?
Well. Firstly , for me, avoiding completely buying fruit and veg (a large component of my diet) from the supermarket helped. This meant local market, farms, the organic food store and a foreign foods shop were my primary sources of food. Yes, this meant more thinking than coming home in the evening from work and go to the supermarket near the house to pick up dinner.
I already tend not to buy any bottled drink, but when I found myself in a moment of need and with no alternatives, I picked up a bottle with a deposit and then returned it.
This could be fun. I always need pots and containers around the house, so if I had to buy something in plastic I would think on whether I could reuse the container and maybe choose the size or brand based on reusability (I.e does it have a llid?) . Also Pinterest has plenty of diy plastic home recycling, from making your own jewellery etc..find some initial inspiration here
Again if I had to get something wrapped I would consider the recyclability of the containers. Can it be recycled ? And of course I made sure to recycle it all properly, by rinsing in advance too. So there would be no excuses for the recycling factory to refuse it! I don’t know how much gets actually recycled and how much ends up in the landfill anyway, so you want to use it as last resort and make sure to do it correctly!
The three r are a step process in my mind to make decisions about what to buy.
Question 1 is always: do I need it?
If the answer to above is yes then
Question 2: any available which are unpackaged /less wrapped? If yes try to buy that, even if it comes with a slightly higher price and if there is not
Q3: how can I reuse this container?
And the last resort
Q4: is the container recyclable?
For example, I go through a lot of yogurt, but I need it. While I would really like to start making my own (I think I will learn) i do not at the moment. But I buy the cartons made from paper and recycle it. And if I can’t then I get the big plastic tubs and reuse it for storage and freezing.
So all in all. The 3 rs are there and the order they come in reflects their importance... and if you can only do one then try and prioritise reducing...
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