We all produce waste during our lives, it’s natural. However, as responsible consumers, we should be interested in minimizing the impact of our consumption on the world around us. The words “Reduce”, “Reuse” and “Recycle” are gradually penetrating various areas of human life. Thus, the letter “R” not only indicates a reproductive number so inflected at this turbulent time, but “R” also expresses how we should treat things around us to protect the environment.
Let’s remind ourselves what these three words mean and what to do so that these three words are not just empty headwords.
- REDUCE – reduction of consumption and thus reduction of waste generation
Today’s society is largely based on consumption. The feeling of happiness is often achieved through material goods. However, such a feeling of happiness disappears relatively quickly and one needs more and more impulses, so one has an compelling need to buy more and more things. The best we can do for our planet, however, is the exact opposite, that is, to use less of its resources. How can we achieve this? Above all, before each purchase, we should consider whether we really need the item and, if so, whether there is a greener product. So let’s not buy useless things or more things than we really need.
- REUSE – reusable products
There are a lot of “disposable” things these days, and we are constantly encouraged to buy new and improved products. We overlook the fact that we already have the same product, only a little older. These products can often be easily repaired, improved or reused. They can thus longer serve the purpose for which they were made, or, conversely, they can be used for something completely different. Remember that a thing that is no longer of value to us can have it for someone else!
- RECYCLE – recycling
Every thing, even the highest quality and most ecological product, sometimes reaches the end of its life cycle. If possible, before disposing of it, let’s hand it over for recycling. Let’s sort waste, the materials used could be reused. Recycling is a better solution than landfilling or incinerating waste.
Do you try not to buy unnecessary things and sort waste? Move even further as consumers. Let’s take a closer look at the second R and the use of RE-USE in practice.
The easiest way to explain REUSE is to don’t throw it away, use it again if you don’t want the thing, rather give it to someone or sell it. It couldn’t be easier. It’s about giving things a second chance and extending their life. Reuse is essential for waste prevention. After all, our parents and grandparents knew this approach and used it without being forced to do so by ecology or any directive. Until a few decades ago, everything was used until the thing fell apart. Today we buy new things and often throw away the old ones thoughtlessly. However, this method is not sustainable in the long run.
For example, the so-called Re-Use Centers try to help with the use of old things, which help to find applications for older, but still functional or usable objects that would otherwise end up in the waste. If people do not need a certain thing, they will bring it to a re-use center, where this thing will find a chance for a “second life”. Even if these things have lost their value for us, it does not mean that they cannot make them happy or serve someone else well. Re-use is a good way to manage waste responsibly and act properly by every consumer.
You will argue that many consumer goods today are deliberately designed to break down faster, preferably as soon as possible after the warranty period, and at the same time are not repairable or only at great expense. And you’re right. We will hopefully see a change in this area soon. From next year, we could wait for the so-called right to repairability. We will inform you about this expected change and everything it will bring in time.