Get To Know The 6 R’s Of Sustainability

Are you familiar with the 6 R’s of sustainability? They are six actions based on the principles of sustainability that can help us understand how to treat the environment in a eco-friendly way. If you are still stuck on the 3 R’s, here you can find the rest and how to put them into practice.

In 2004, Greenpeace and the Prime Minister of Japan put into practice the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Three simple habits all citizens could do to reduce urban waste and take better care of the planet. Then two more were added, having the 5 R’s. Simple small steps that would already be helping our planet.

However, with the rapid evolution we have undergone in recent years and the implications of  climate change, more measures are needed to take care of our planet. Therefore, three more R’s have been added. These are based on sustainability, which can be defined as the ability of people to continue to use a product. With this, the idea of the 6 R’s of sustainability has evolved. Here is a break down of each R that makes up the 6:

1. Rethink

It is common to have a constant urge to buy new things because our society is designed to do so. The pressure to keep on top of trends leads to overconsumption and often makes us buy things we don’t need. ‘Rethink’ means that we should all be more mindful of our consumption habits so that we can limit our impact on the environment.

However, we can change the way we think about consuming products with 2 simple questions.. Do you really need that product? Is this the most sustainable option for this product? It is not only the functionality of the product that needs to be considered but also the environmental consequences it may have.

2. Refuse

‘Refusing’ merely means saying no. Having that drawer full of papers and objects that you don’t know where they come from is very common. We often accept items that we throw straight into the bin. This contributes to creating more waste and can be avoided by simply refusing it. As consumers, we have the power to start refusing waste. Paper receipts is a great example of this and can be easily resolved by asking for an electronic email receipt if possible.

Try thinking of ways you can reduce waste like this in everyday life.  ‘Refusing’ is just about trying to be conscious of our actions and the waste we generate from them.

3. Reduce

Reduce is one of the rules seen in the original 3 R’s. It is about decreasing our consumption and use of products, as well as raw materials.

Through reducing, we not only enable ourselves to save money but we’re also freeing up natural resources. When we generate waste we are also increasing pollution. Yet, there are several simple ways of reducing our impact on the planet.

Having your own cloth bag when you go to the supermarket to avoid buying plastic bags is already a simple way to reduce waste that many people have adopted. If you’re looking to reduce your food waste, we’ve created a list of tips – 10 TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE 

4. Reuse

Have you ever given a T-shirt to a friend or family member because you didn’t wear it? Congratulations! You were using one of the 6 R’s. A simple way to opt for sustainable fashion and adopting a more circular approach to the way we use clothing.

The key to prolonging the life of a product is gradually eliminating the idea of using and throwing away – which is defined as a linear model With this R you will be able to give free rein to your creativity, giving use to your things that you didn’t know they had! For example, a unique way to wrap gifts or create an envelope is to reuse the pages of a calendar or an old notebook.

When something is already used, think about how you can give it a new lease of life before throwing it away. You could use yesterday’s newspaper to clean your windows, or an old toothbrush to clean tiles, the possibilities are endless

5. Repair

Often, when things break people’s initial thoughts are to throw it away and buy another one. But there are many times when a simple repair will make our items work as good as new again.

Besides, repairing is usually cheaper than buying a new product, so your wallet will also be grateful. Next time you’re thinking of throwing away your shoes, maybe try taking them to a good cobbler and have them resoled and reheeled. Or why not visit your local ‘Repair Cafe’? They’re starting to pop up all over the world and could be a key step in making this fifth R a reality. https://www.repaircafe.org/en/ – find one near you.

6. Recycle

We all know the habit of recycling at home. Separating the rubbish in the coloured bins, it’s simple. “Recycle” is defined as the process of collecting and changing old paper, glass, plastic, etc. so that it can be used again. Separating your waste into things such as paper, plastic, metals, glass, electronics, and organic materials is the first relevant step that can make recycling easier. Even with that, its very difficult to completely avoid waste. This is why we should apply the other Rs to our habits and this in turn will help with our overall waste outcome.

But there is also recycling in other forms. Using recycled materials helps to reduce the resources we extract from the planet and can help to keep our water and air cleaner. Recycled materials are cool and there is a variety of different materials to explore. You can specifically shop ‘recycled materials’ on our website by using the ‘Shop by Values’ section. Click here to discover products made from recycled materials!

By putting any of these R’s into practice, you will be contributing to a better world for yourself and your loved ones. Share them with your friends and family, and look into new ways of using the  6R’s.