Ironically, the term “reduce, reuse, recycle” is somewhat of a vintage term nowadays. I think a better way to promote environmental consciousness of material objects is to rephrase the term as “reduce, repurpose and upcycle”.
The 3 R’s have become such a catchphrase that most don’t really think what each individual word means. Although. with more people making an effort to be more environmentally conscious the idea of reduce, repurpose and upcycle have become more a regular part of daily life. Let’s give each word some thought….
Reduce, this just means to use less. Or to get rid of less. Either way, it means less of something. Look at how full your weekly garbage can is. What are you throwing away? Is it a lot of packaging? Convenience food wrappers? Diapers? Food? Plastic bags? Mail?
What are some ways to reduce the amount of trash?
1. BYOB….bring your own bag! Get in the habit of bringing your own shopping bags.
2. Compost your food scraps. (no meat,fatty foods or dairy)
3. Use cloth diapers.
4. Buy foods with less packaging.
5. Cook more foods from scratch.
6. Use cloth napkins.
7. Many companies are now paperless, so contact the ones you can and request to only correspond by email. Also, many catalog companies have websites. Contact them and request to not be sent catalogs in the mail.
With a little bit of effort you can reduce your household amount of waste.
Repurpose, means to give something a new life. Upcycling is taking something that would otherwise be discarded or useless on its own and making it useful (and oftentimes making it look much nicer!). Take a walk through your home and garage, you will be amazed at the ideas you can get from items that have been sitting around waiting for a trip to your local thrift store. There are so many ideas on Pinterest for repurposing and upcycling, I can spend hours pinning ideas.
And if you need more inspiration, watch The Story of Stuff, it’s about 20 minutes long and well worth the time.