In the past, you may have heard the expression “reduce, reuse, recycle”. No? Well then, let’s begin (it’s going to be a long day, we may very well miss Earth Day altogether)
Earth Day And The Waste Hierarchy
In case you actually need a reminder, celebrated on April 22 ( initially in 1970), Earth Day is an annual event that is held to establish support for environmental protection. At this point in time, there are over 193 countries who participate (makes you wonder what these other countries are waiting for). And, realizing this, I am here to discuss the principle of “waste hierarchy”, which is a set of recommended guidelines for the creation of a sustainable life.
The first of our “reduce, reuse, recycle” concept is, you’ve guessed it, reduce! (Whatever gave it away?) Imperative to the “waste hierarchy” is the notion of reducing what is produced and consumed. That is to say, if there is less waste, then there will clearly be less to reuse and recycle.
Listed below are various suggestions that you can follow in order to be a better earthling!
1. Ditch the idea of sending paper mail, instead use emails (it’s about time grandma gets with the times).
2. Utilize both sides of printer paper.
3. Instead of using a paper napkin to wipe that spaghetti sauce off your face, use a cloth napkin.
4. This one is a no brainer but you should avoid buying over (and unnecessarily) packaged items. That includes paper, foil, and plastic.
5. Also a no-brainer, avoid using disposable plates and utensils. Stop being lazy!
Essential to the waste hierarchy and the concepts of “reduce, reuse, recycle” is learning to reuse items, or even just re-purpose them for completely alternate uses. And, again, listed below are crucial suggestions you ought to consider in order to do just this.
1. Old newspapers (wait, what’s a newspaper?) can be used to pack items if and when you plan on moving, or simply to place items in the long-forgotten storage.
2. Old mason jars and pots can be used to store various kitchen products such as pasta, nuts, seeds, and whatever else your tiny little heart desires.
3. Waste paper can and should be utilized to take notes (such as a grocery list) or to draw sketches (if you’re feeling fancy).
4. Wood that is no longer needed can suddenly become firewood or can even be utilized for woodcrafts.
5. The old sneakers that you no longer wear can be used as garden equipment (genius, isn’t it).
The final “reduce, reuse, recycle” stage of the waste hierarchy is to recycle. That is to say, these items will be once more converted into new material that can be formed into a new item. (Talk about convenience, amirite?) And, luckily for us humans, there are hardly any materials that cannot be recycled. Likewise, by way of incentive credits and agreements, further advancement is being made toward aligning recycling plants with the industries that can process waste material.
Without further ado, here is a list of suggestions that you should consider following.
1. When buying products, make sure they are stored in glass, and not plastic, because glass can be recycled.
2. Buy environment-friendly products, meaning products that use recycled materials.
3. When printing or making paper handicrafts, make sure to use recycled paper.
4. Whenever possible, buy non-toxic products. The reason being, hazardous materials are somewhat difficult to recycle.
5. Begin using a compost, if you haven’t already, for all your discarded fruits and vegetables.
Now that you realize the importance of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” concept, you should take initiative and do your part so that we can sustain this beautiful world we call Earth. While you’re at it, go hug a tree.
Featured Image Source:https://unsplash.com/photos/AIklyC7dudQ
Helllllloooo ladies and gents, I am from Montreal, Canada and a recent Concordia University psychology grad. My topics of interest are, of course, psychology, music, gaming, health and nutrition, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, among others. My end goal is to become an editor and/or find the world's best beer. Luckily for me, Montreal already has the latter covered. Cheers!