Most of us are familiar with the three R’s- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. This month, we want to draw attention to the Second “R” - REUSE! There are many ways to participate in reuse, whether it is using a reusable item over and over again to replace a single-use one or giving another life to an object that would otherwise be thrown away. Like source reduction, REUSE helps to conserve resources, prevent pollution, and save money. How can you incorporate more REUSE in your life?
Single-use item pollution can really add up. “Approximately 530 billion disposable cups are used globally each year. Stacked end to end, these cups would go to the moon and back 85 times.” - source: upstream. When you choose a reusable drinking vessel over a disposable one, you are helping to conserve resources, energy and save money - win! This is but one example of how you can make REUSE a regular practice in your life and be an example to those around you.
We’ve all seen something perfectly good going into the trash - what a waste! Whether it is hosting or shopping at a garage sale, pulling over for that item with a “free” sign, bringing your no-longer-wanted clothes to a drop-box or local charity, or listing an item on craigslist or Facebook marketplace, there are many ways to reuse durable goods. By keeping the item in play, you just saved the fossil fuels, water, virgin materials, and energy that it took for that product to come to be.
You can be proud of the resource conservation you are involved in. Setting this example is an important part of normalizing reuse and welcoming it as we make strides towards a more circular economy. You can choose to reuse and be a part of the reuse revolution!
Adapted from #RecycleRightNY Resources