Green Living made easy with the 5 Rs for you! These are key to reduce waste and help the environment.
Have you ever wished money would grow like the amount of garbage you produce? Or maybe you’re simply frustrated with the amount of garbage that comes with every purchase.
According to The World Counts, we produce 2.12 billion tons of garbage, and 99% of that ends up in the dump within half a year of purchase. Can you think of any items that you’ve thrown away recently that fits into that statement?
I couldn’t think of any items like clothes, furniture, decorations e.t.c. But a minute later, I realized that I do throw away things quite regularly. ? All those containers and packaging that comes with your necessities… yes, they’re immediate waste.
So in this article, you’ll find ways to reduce garbage with the 5 Rs for greener living.
What’s green living 5Rs?
You may be familiar with the phrase Reduce, Reuse, Recycle for Eco-Friendly living. Over the years, I came up with the 5 Rs to reduce the amount of garbage I personally produce. The 5 Rs are like a funnel and whatever comes out at the bottom is actual garbage.
List of the 5 Rs, and this is the order you need to help you simplify the process.
Next, I’ll explain each process, so you can apply it to your life!
This is the most important idea for reducing the amount of waste. As long as you keep it in mind, you’ll explore the others. How can you reduce?
- buy local produce from farmers’ stand/market
- grow your own food
- buy appropriate amount that you can actually eat
- choose things with minimum packaging
- eat in at restaurants rather than take out – It may be challenging under the pandemic, so reducing the frequency is a good start!
- borrow books, tools, e.t.c. rather than buying things you want/need, which will help create a community
- buy used items like clothes, sports equipment, and tools
- reduce the amount of wrapping & decorations
- fix and use – you can probably find tutorials on YouTube!
The golden rule for reducing is try to simplify your life. Yes, I’m working on it, too!
2. Rethink – Green Living
Next, it’s rethink. This is just as important as Reduce. Whenever you go shopping, I want you to ask yourself 3 questions.
- “Do I really need this?” – Take a moment to ask the question before you make a purchase.
- “Can I use/create this item with something I already have?” – This helps you become a creative thinker!
- “What kind of material is it?” – Choose Eco-Friendly materials that are biodegradable.
With the first two steps, Reduce & Rethink, you will eliminate extra garbage you might have gained otherwise. Now you’re going to focus on the things you already have.
Many of you probably do this already, so keep up your great work!
- refillable water bottles
- reusable shopping bags & containers
- notebooks with a lot of blank pages & single sided paper – if you have school age children, you have a lot!
- wrapping with reused paper
This is where your creativity comes alive, and this is where my passion is! Trust me, you get so much satisfaction at the end. All you need is your child-like imagination. If you have children, spend time with them and watch. They are the best teachers when it comes to creativity.
The key is trying to identify what each item can do, and create a new way of using it! For instance, I created a flower vase with a glass container and recycling paper.
Here are some more examples of repurposing:
- bean stalk into a sustainable wreath base
- salvage wood turned into a trellis
- a glass jar into a special flower vase
- toilet paper rolls into planters
- Christmas cards into tags
5. Recycle – Green Living
Lastly, it’s recycle and there’s a reason why I put it at the end. According to an article, only 9% of plastics actually get recycled, and 91% becomes garbage in Canada. Many of us believed that we were doing something good for the environment while the number told us otherwise.
Which gives us reasons to emphasize the first 4 Rs. But there are a few things that actually get recycled.
- aluminum cans
- glass bottles
- juice boxes/cartons
- metals/metal cans
- used items like clothes & appliances e.t.c.
Paper also gets recycled, but only 25% of it in Canada. So here are a few things you can do to reduce the amount. If you have school age children, use notebooks with a lot of blank pages for your journal or other creations. Single sided paper is also excellent for making a note/memo pad.
Kitchen scraps and some paper can get recycled in your own compost to reduce the amount. And the compost will provide the nutrients your plants need, and they will make you happy! It’s the best kind of recycle to support green living!
As you know, no one can instantly solve the waste issues, but think about this as an opportunity to make a difference for you & future generations! Let’s focus on what WE CAN! I believe the 5 Rs (Reduce, Rethink, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle) can help you with that.
So, I want you to pick one thing from the 5 Rs, and try it today. It can be as simple as asking a question – “Do I really need this?” Remember, small actions lead to a change!
with Love & Care ❤️