Day 1: Reduce • Reuse • Recycle

Robin Greenfield sitting side by side with a woman, with a bunch of plastics, both holding a bottle up.
EnvironmentResource Conservation

Day 1 of Change the World is Reduce-Reuse-Recycle Day!

You voted on these 3 mini adventures on Facebook:
Reduce: Create no waste! Whatever we create we have to wear on our heads.
Reuse: Get an outfit from a secondhand store for less then $10.
Recycle: Clean up trash from the beach and recycle what we can.

As you voted, we cleaned up trash from the beach and recycled what we could. It was a lovely day spent relaxing on the beach, swimming, and giving back to mother earth. Thanks for being a part of it.

We are sure that you know the 3 R’s, but did you know that they are in that order for a reason? And that there are more than 3 R’s? 

Reduce: This step comes first. You can avoid reusing and recycling all together by reducing.

Examples of reducing are using reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags, not using one time use items such as straws, napkins, disposable plates, and plastic water bottles. Also, buy in bulk and buy less packaged stuff. 

Reuse: This means to use stuff over and over. This means not buying throw-away items. Reusing can mean using the stuff in the same way or finding a new purpose for the stuff.

Examples of reusing are bringing your egg cartons to the farmer, purchasing milk in a returnable bottle, using food jars as cups or storage containers, making art out of waste and making a purse out of bottlecaps. Ideally reusing means reusing the item long term, not just one or two times.

Recycle: This is the last resort. It is a very energy intensive process to create stuff and then to turn it into something else. It is, of course, better than trash though.

Examples of recycling are putting your cans, bottles, and paper into the recycle bin. Another example is composting. The nutrients are recycled back into the soil to create more food, but prior to composting you want to reduce food waste and reuse, such as using teabags twice. 

Repair, refuse, and resourcefulness are a few other R’s and upcycling is another concept you can get excited about.

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