Over the past years, sustainable living has become a vital aspect of combatting climate change and giving back to our planet - which, as you may know, is what FabRap is all about!
Eco-friendly living sounds hard, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, we're convinced that making three R-words your sustainable mantra can help you lead a more eco-conscious life without any considerable restrictions: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
With the three R's, sustainable living suddenly doesn't seem so hard anymore:
- Reduce the amount of waste you produce.
- Reuse or re-purpose items or products before replacing them or disposing of them.
- Recycle items whenever possible.
Keep reading for some easy tips on how to incorporate the three R's into your everyday routine!
Reducing is all about minimising the amount of waste you create. This can refer to food, water, or products such as plastics or paper.
Here's some easy ways to reduce waste:
- Buy only what you need. By buying only what you need with regards to food, electronics or clothing, you will not only do good for the planet but also for yourself, because in the long run it saves a lot of money.
- Plan your meals and shop consciously. By putting together a meal plan for the week, you can completely use up all of the groceries you buy without having to throw any leftovers away. Whenever you're shopping, make sure to be conscious of where your products are coming from. For example, try to avoid items from intensive livestock farming or items that are not seasonal or regional.
- Choose unpackaged products. For example, when you're buying fresh produce, bring your own reusable produce bags so you won't need to buy packaged products or use the plastic/paper bags at your grocery store.
- Turn off the water more. You can do this by taking shorter showers or really turning the tap off whenever you don't need it (for example while brushing your teeth or soaping your hands). Simple, yet effective! (And it will save you money, too!)
- Collect rain water. This, of course, is not possible for everyone, but if you can, your collected rain water can be reused to water your plants for weeks!
Reusing is all about repurposing the items you have before replacing them or disposing of them. By the way - you can also reduce by purchasing items that can later be repurposed in the first place.
Here's some easy ways you can reuse:
- Invest in a reusable water bottle. Instead of buying new bottles every time, invest in a high quality water bottle that you can refill over and over again.
- Use your electronics until they stop working. Many electronics, like phones, contain rare raw materials that are usually unsustainably mined. To get these raw materials, important natural habitats are destroyed and raw resources are extracted from our planet. We need our rainforests more urgently than the newest electronics on the market. Whenever you can, use your electronics until they completely stop working and update your products instead of upgrading to newer models.
- Get a reusable bag. Plastic bags cause a lot of unnecessary waste, given that reusable tote bags are not only cheaper in the long run but also more stable and comfortable to carry. If you have to get a plastic bag (because you forgot your reusable one at home), make sure you reuse it as much as you possibly can before throwing it away.
- Got some old bedspreads? With a little talent for sewing, you can turn them into picnic blankets or reusable bags. Even without a sewing machine, you can cut square pieces with sharp fabric scissors that can function as furoshiki.
- Reuse old clothes. If you have old clothes that don't fit you anymore or bed sheets/blankets that have become too small, but are still in good condition consider trading them with others or donating them to homeless shelters, animal shelters, or any donation center near you.
Recycling is all about repurposing products that contain reusable raw materials.
Here's some things that can be recycled:
- Glass. The great thing about glass: it can be recycled and reused endlessly. So whenever you can choose between plastic cups/bottles and glass containers, choose the recyclable option!
- Plastic. Although plastic can only be recycled a certain amount of times, it can usually be recycled to a certain extent. Make sure you dispose of your plastic waste accordingly.
- Bottles. Most countries in Europe have recycling systems for plastic bottles or glass at their grocery stores. For every empty item you return, you will receive a bit of money back.
- Batteries. They are made from materials that can be recovered after the battery is empty, so make sure you recycle them accordingly.
- Paper and Cardbord. They can be recycled a few times to be reused in other paper products.
- Electronics. As we've mentioned above, electronics do not only contain metal but many more raw materials that can be recovered and reused if recycled correctly.
The three R's are a great mantra for you to start your sustainable journey. And remember, you don't have to go completely zero waste! Sometimes you may not have the (financial) option to choose sustainable items and that's totally fine. However, there are so many areas of life where reducing, reusing and recycling is super easy, all while saving you money as well. We're sure you can find some ways to make your everyday life a little more eco-friendly, one small step at a time.