Most of us are familiar with Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, but did you know that a few new R’s have joined the mix? “Refuse” and “Repurpose” have been added to remind us all, we really ought to bring home less and use what we have!
The idea here, is to turn down things that you don’t actually need, and would otherwise cause waste.
- Refuse “freebies” that would otherwise end up in your trash, unless there is something you will actually use (Ex: a reusable tote or a reusable water bottle are freebies!)
- Refuse plastic grocery bags, especially if you only have a couple of items that you could easily carry out yourself
- Refuse plastic straws when dining out
Repurposing means to take something, and reuse it for something else. While this may require a bit of crafty thinking, it doesn’t have to be Pinterest-worthy to be good! Check out One Green Planet’s 6 Kid-Friendly Christmas Decorations to Make From Trash for some quick inspiration.
In addition to adding these steps, the arrangement has been changed to reflect the optimal order in which we should all follow along.
If at all possible, say no to things you are offered, but don’t need.
Minimize the number of items you are purchasing on a regular basis.
Reuse something you already have, or purchase second-hand items when necessary.
Figure out a new way to use something before determining if you should dispose of it.
If the above options don’t work, you should do your best to recycle it.
In the end, any combination of these efforts will make a lasting impact on the environment, and simplify your life at the same time!