HOW TO REDUCE WASTE WITH THE 3 R'S
Reduce - Reuse - Recycle. We often refer to them when talking about waste which has a great impact on the environment. Why those three words are more important than ever today?
According to a 2016 study by the World Bank, each year, the world generates 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste. If all this waste was put on trucks they would go around the world 24 times 🚚! With an average of 0.74 kg of waste generated per person per day, the higher-income countries are the ones who produce the most waste per capita.
The United States ranks 19th 🇺🇸 with 2.58 kg/per capita and Canada 23rd 🇨🇦with 2.33 kg/capita. Ranks we shouldn't be too proud of.
What about the consequences of poor waste management? We don't want to be too graphic but sometimes it's better to know than bury our heads in the sand. Poorly managed waste is contaminating the world’s oceans, clogging drains and causing flooding, transmitting diseases via breeding of vectors, increasing respiratory problems through airborne particles from burning of waste, harming animals that consume waste unknowingly, and affecting economic development such as through diminished tourism.
With that being said, we'll show you some tips to reduce waste by practicing the 3 R's.
REDUCE means reducing waste before you purchase it, or by purchasing products that are not wasteful in their packaging or use. First and foremost do not buy what you don't need. By making less waste in the first place, there's less mess to clean up. In your daily life you can:
- Refuse single-use containers such as coffee cups, plastic water bottles, cutlery.
- Bring your own bags at the grocery.
- Buy in bulk which reduces packaging materials.
- Switch your shampoo bottles to shampoo and conditioner bars
- Turn off lights when you're not using them.
- Chose quality over quantity. Items with better quality tend to last longer.
- If you have the green thumb, start a garden and grow your own fruits and vegetables
- Freeze your food when you think you won't eat it now.
At Gen C we offer zero waste products to reduce at the source. Shop our zero waste collection here.
REUSE means turning old items that you might consider throwing away by finding a new use for them. Remember one man's trash is another man's treasure! Here are some tips of repurposing old items:
- Go thrift shopping, you'll look ravishing with some unique finds and it will benefit your wallet too.
- Repair your broken items instead of purchasing a new one.
- Turn your old clothes into cleaning rags.
- Use plastic grocery bags as trash bags.
- Borrow, rent or share items that you don't use frequently. You remember that disco wig you used for Halloween 2016?
RECYCLE. We hope you heard of this one before. Otherwise, we are no longer friends. Recycling is the most used therm in the 3 R's. It means changing old products into new ones so they can be resold.
It might be the easiest solution, but not the most efficient one knowing the cruel fact that most of what we put in the recycle goes to waste. In 2018, the winning International Statistic was 90.5%: the proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled. Shocking right? 😱Here are some recycling tips:
- Use compost to transform your food waste into a natural fertilizer for the soil
- Always return your refundable cans and bottles where accepted.
- Know what can be recycled or not depending on your municipality to reduce contamination of other recyclables.