Refuse and Recycling Blog

The 5 R's to a Zero Waste Lifestyle

Posted on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

5837677046 de363440a3 resized 600Living a zero waste lifestyle--is it possible?

Absolutely. Zero waste does not mean you never generate waste--it means that you do everything you possibly can to keep that waste out of the landfill.

While there are dozens, if not hundreds of tips that can help you to reduce the amount of waste that you put into the world, it all boils down to one simple secret--Follow the five R’s.

While the THREE R’s of reduce, reuse and recycle are a great start, add in “repair and rot” and you’ve got the secret to living a zero waste life.

Learn more about these R’s and discover how easy it is for you to achieve that dream.

Reduce

The first, and often thought of as most important, step in living a zero waste lifestyle is reducing your use of products that could create waste in the first place. This may mean choosing a reusable cup instead of getting that paper cup at the coffee shop each morning, or buying products that use less packaging.

Reuse

When you get something delivered, what do you do with the box? How about your paper towel tubes and old magazines?

While you could recycle these produce, you could reuse them first. Pack your holiday decorations in that old box or send the paper towel tubes to a school for a science project. A local nursing home may love to get your old magazines. Anything you need to dispose of it is in good shape, see if it can be reused--it makes a big difference!

Recycle

Recycling is becoming easier than ever before. Many locales offer single stream recycling which means less sorting for you. Additionally, even if you don’t have it at home, some offices or public places offer recycling bins where you can get rid of you recyclables in a way that will provide a positive impact on the environment. Take advantage of the options available to you and join the recycling revolution.

Repair

The first of the “extra” two R’s is repair. This may mean that you keep driving that older car a few more years or making repairs around the home instead of replacing things. Repairing certain things in your life can help you live a zero waste lifestyle and also save you some money.

Rot (Composting)

Think about all the natural garbage you have. Instead of bagging it up and sending it to the landfill, compost! Lawn clippings, leaves and other outdoor waste as well as certain kitchen scraps can be composted to enrich the soil and keep them out of the landfill.

Key Takeaways:

Now that you have learned a bit more about the five R’s, the next step is implementation. Be intentional in everything you do and think about where products go when you are finished with them and you will be living with zero waste sooner than you thought possible. With these five R’s in your mind, living with zero waste is easy!

  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle
  • Repair
  • Rot

Tags: waste management, reuse, recycle, repair, zero waste