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The 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The “3Rs”: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle give name to a proposal initially promoted by the non-governmental organization GreenPeace that promotes 3 basic steps to reduce the production of waste and thereby contribute to the protection and conservation of the environment.

The concept of the 3R’s rule of the environment aims to change our consumption habits, making them responsible and sustainable. To do this, it focuses on reducing waste, in order to solve one of the great ecological problems of today’s society. Keep reading this AgroCorrn article and discover what this philosophy of life is based on and several examples of reducing, reusing and recycling .

  1. Examples of reduce
  2. Examples of reuse
  3. Examples of recycling
  4. How recycling works
  5. Importance of the 3R rule for the environment
  6. The 7Rs: Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Renew, Recover and Recycle

Examples of reduce

The first of the three R’s: Reduce , perhaps the most obvious part of the theory, if we reduce our consumption, both energy and material goods, we are also reducing the problem. In this way, the aim is to reduce the cost of raw materials, water and consumer goods, as well as the contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere and energy consumption (both for the creation of a product and for its transport and distribution. ).

On a practical level, the tips and examples to reduce are simple:

  • Buy less and apply certain criteria when choosing what we buy.
  • Check the place of origin and give priority to the products that have been produced closer to us
  • Choose products whose packaging or wrapping process is not excessive or is made with materials that can be recycled more easily
  • Replace the plastic shopping bags with reusable material bags that can be used in future occasions
  • Finally, discard or reduce the use of plastics as much as possible.

Examples of reuse

Next, the habit of Reuse encourages us to try to extend the useful life of a product , that is, before throwing it away and replacing it with a new one, we must find a way to repair it or, if not possible, give it another use before end of his life.

Fortunately, the network is full of ideas, some very creative, aimed at changing the mentality of “use and throw away” , ideas that, in addition, not only help the environment, but also our pocket. For example, in the following EcologiaVerde articles we explain how to make musical instruments from recycled materials or we give you incredible Ideas to recycle bottle caps .

Reuse is not just about manufactured products, it can, and should, also be applied to natural resources . For example, the water we use to wash vegetables and fruits or the water that is left over after drinking can be used to water plants or even scrub the floor.

In the same way, taking a step further and putting more means, the water coming from the drains of washing machines, bathtubs or sinks, would be, after the application of a simple treatment, perfect for the irrigation of green areas or use in cisterns, as well as for exterior cleaning.

Examples of recycling

The last R, Recycling , is the best known of the three. In fact, many people know them as the 3 Rs of recycling, although it is a mistake since this is only one of them. Recycling is based on treating waste in order to obtain new products , preserve potentially useful materials and thus avoid the environmental damage that its disposal entails (gases and other toxic substances). The practice of recycling has multiple aspects and its application ranges from simple domestic habits to complex international regulations.

At an individual level, it is in our power to select and separate the waste that we generate at home, that is, to use the already known yellow, green, blue and gray containers to deposit metals and plastics, paper, cardboard and derivatives, glass, packaging and organic waste.

Many times to recycle well, it is enough to have garbage cans that allow us to separate materials and garbage in a simple but orderly way, so we recommend two models:

  • Separator Joseph Joseph , a perfect bin with waste separation that makes the task of recycling very easy.
  • Cheaper alternative is Songmics brand which consists of a stainless steel trash can with three compartments.

In recent years, thanks to awareness campaigns, workshops, distribution of explanatory material and adaptation of infrastructures, both in urban and rural areas, the segregation of garbage at the domestic level has become an easy practice to carry out and we all know of the importance of our participation in this first and essential phase of the process.

You can learn more about this concept in this other AgroCorrn article on the Definition of recycling .

How recycling works

Once the waste has been segregated, different local and national entities work together through waste transfer, classification and valuation plants to optimize energy consumption and preserve natural resources.

Recycling works in a chain and for this reason, the simple fact of throwing our garbage in one container or another is essential to be able to enjoy the energy benefits obtained in the glass recycling process and even make us smile when we know that the reuse of a ton made of paper saves the lives of 17 trees.

In short, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are 3Rs and three simple actions , as easy as they are necessary. Sustainable lifestyle habits and their widespread practice are not only our responsibility as inhabitants of the planet, or our contribution to alleviate the damage we cause; Also, and above all, they are the only way we have to preserve, and therefore enjoy, our environment.

Therefore, perhaps it is time to take the next step in the change of mentality and learn to see that when we carry out the “3Rs” we are not the ones who give, what we do is receive.

Importance of the 3R rule for the environment

As has been published recently, in our country, the total production of urban waste is around 25 million tons , a figure that is equivalent to approximately 464 kilos per year per inhabitant, and of which it is only recycled or used for composting 27%, which places us 15 points below the European average.

From an environmental point of view, and as many organizations have been claiming, these data are alarming and their sustainability in the medium term is practically impossible. Thus, the social implementation of the habits of Reduction, Reuse and Recycling , accompanied by a drastic and generalized change in mentality, is considered the only possible way for a considerable reduction of the aforementioned figures.

The 7Rs: Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Renew, Recover and Recycle

Ecology advances day by day and, today, a new movement broader than the 3R’s rule of ecology has emerged . This new method of helping the environment is known as the 7Rs: Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Renew, Recover and Recycle .

Some steps are similar to the pre-existing 3Rs although they have their differences and are equally important to take care of the planet. Instead, other steps have been included to take into account that this process must be done throughout the life of a product: from the extraction of the raw material, the design and manufacture of the product to its use, its reuse and recycling. .

Here you can learn more about the 7Rs: Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Renew, Recover and Recycle .

If you want to read more articles similar to The 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle , we recommend that you enter our Recycling and waste management category .

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Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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