You might think you’ve got this sustainable living thing down. You know the big three “reduce, reuse, recycle”. But did you know there’s more to it than that? Today I’m going to be sharing with you the 6 Rs of sustainability.
So kick back and get ready to learn how you can improve your lifestyle to be even more sustainable.
*This post contains affiliate links meaning I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links. I only recommend products I love and trust. To see my full disclosure, click here.
Being sustainable or trying to live zero waste isn’t as black and white as it sounds. There’s a lot of thought and conscious decisions that need to go into it. This is why I like to adopt the “slow” or “mindful” life mentality. To ensure that I make the right decisions based on how they’ll affect those around me, myself and the planet.
Now I know you know how to reduce, reuse, recycle. You’ve heard it enough times. I know I have. But do you actually do these things the way they’re supposed to be done? I’ll break down these 3 most common R’s first and then move onto the ones you might not have heard.
The 6 Rs of sustainability:
1. Reduce – This is a big one in the world of zero waste or low waste living. While I think in most cases zero waste just isn’t realistic or attainable for most, low waste is a movement where you try to reduce as much waste as possible.
When grocery shopping, opt for food that isn’t wrapped in plastic. Remember your reusable bags.
Related: How to have a zero waste kitchen
This also counts for any type of waste: food waste, clothing waste.
Always ask yourself when shopping if you really need something, what purpose will it serve and for how long. This will change your mentality and help you reduce the amount of waste you take in and produce.
2. Reuse – Instead of throwing out things, try to reuse them as much as possible. Growing up my mom would buy meat and other things in plastic containers so that when they were gone we’d have a free container to store other food. (I know, I know it’s still plastic but it’s better than throwing it out!)
3. Recycle – Recycling has become a bit taboo over the past few years. It’s not as effective as it used to be or as it should be. People throw non-recyclable things into the recycle bin and recyclable things into the trash.
Recycling is not perfect as the process doesn’t help with CO2 emissions but like I always say: a little step in the right direction is still a step. At least you’re doing something.
Make sure to call or google your area to find out which items are and are not recyclable. I like to keep a list beside my bin to be certain only the things that are supposed to be recycled are recycled.
4. Repair – Millions upon millions of clothing items or textiles end up in landfills each year. Not to mention everything else that also finds its way there.
A lot of this waste could be reduced if we took the time to learn and execute simple repairs. Patching a hole in jeans, sewing on a button, gluing a chipped plate back together, etc, etc.
Don’t be afraid to get crafty and embrace your inner DIY guru.
5. Re-purpose – You might bet thinking that this is similar to reusing something. It is, but yet it’s different/ Re-purposing something is changing its purpose, its use. I like to take win bottles or oil bottles and turn them in flower vases. Use jam jars for bulk shopping. You get the idea. Just be creative!
6. Rot – Whaaaat? By rot I mean compost. Time to start learning to compost! Composting is a great way to live a more sustainable life. It’s so, so great for the planet and helps cut waste-mainly food waste way down.
You can get a little countertop composter and throw the compost in your garden or find a local compost center.
This is the one I use. It’s sleek and small enough to fit right on your countertop. The best part is that no smell escapes so you won’t even know you have compost on your counter!
There are many more R’s we could add to this list. Like “refuse”, “rethink”, “reflect”. I’ve seen them all. But one thing I’m passionate about and the one thing you’ll see over and over on this blog is the goal to make low waste living easy and accessible. I’m not trying to overwhelm anyone.
I think these 6 R’s are the perfect amount and cover all of the basics.
An interesting way to look at sustainability is the notion of living a lot like our ancestors. After all, they got along just fine without plastic. This also falls into the slow living/simple living mentality.
Living a little old fashion. Repairing, mending, patching, re-purposing, composting, etc. If we all just slowed down and looked at life more simply I believe we’d all be able to make a bigger difference.
And there you have it! The 6 Rs of sustainability! Which one are you going to incorporate into your life next? Let me know down below!
As always, don’t forget to share this post if you liked and follow me on Instagram for daily Ethical fashion and ow waste living inspiration!