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The 7R’s of Waste Management – in Kitchen and at Laundry

Waste boxes with posters showing principles of waste management and segregating waste according to plastic presence.

image source: unplash.com

The 7R’s of Waste Management – in the Kitchen and at Laundry

Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle and Rot are the 7R’s of sustainability and waste management in the kitchen and the laundry.

Rethink

Rethink how you view the natural resources of this planet. Understanding that the natural resources of the planet Earth are very limited can greatly influence the choices you make in your everyday life. When purchasing items, remember the words of the great man L.N. Smith, “Every dollar you spend or don’t spend is a vote you cast for the world you want to live in.” It is critical to realize that every choice you make in this world is very important to the health of the planet so make your choices wisely and judiciously. 

 

An ideal waste management consultant will rethink the choices he or she makes by conducting an at-home waste audit. This will allow him or her to see areas of his or her life that cause the most wastage. The waste audit might show the waste management consultant that he or she uses a large number of plastic water bottles. To reduce this, the waste management consultant will use the same water bottle over and over again. For a more durable option, consider purchasing a reusable water bottle that will last, such as stainless steel or glass. He or she will find that not only are they saving the environment by not purchasing bottled water, but are also saving your wallet and planet!  If they have concerns about tap water, there are many reverse osmosis water filters available for purchase at local stores and online. 

Poor waste management leading to a coagulation of plastic waste near a bridge.

image source:Unplash.com

 

Refuse

Sustainability defines refuse as refusing to accept or support products or companies that harm the environment, our planet or nature . One way to do this is to refuse items that are over-packaged or packaged in plastic which cause excessive harm to the environment when disposed off. While it is difficult to refuse all plastic items, being more conscious can really help change your habits. A great way that a waste management consultant recommends to refuse over-packaged items is to start your grocery shopping in the produce section. Not only is this a healthier option, but also the more environmentally conscious and environment friendly option. Avoid produce that has been wrapped in plastic. Once you find the package-free produce, use a reusable produce bag instead of the plastic produce bags offered in the market or bring a carry bag from your house.  

 

Reduce 

Reducing the number of the resources which you use daily in your everyday life is the next step in the resource management hierarchy. A waste management consultant would recommend starting off with small ways by which you can reduce your energy usage, water usage along with reducing your garbage, food waste, plastic, and transportation. The room in your home that usually creates the most waste traditionally is the kitchen, therefore you can focus on reducing waste here first to make the biggest impact in your house and everyday resource usage.

Another way to reduce resources from your everyday usage is to find items in your home that cause lots of waste and swap them for more environmentally conscious products. Take paper towels, for example which are harmful. Think about the number of resources it takes to grow the trees, chop down the trees, transport them, refine them into the desired product, package the paper towels in plastic, transport them home, and then dispose of them in the garbage. Replace paper towels with traditional cloth towels. 

 

Reuse 

When you purchase an item, say a can of tomato sauce, think about how you are paying for the sauce and the jar or container it comes packaged in. Look around your home to find the various ways the products you purchase are packaged and try to reuse them by reusing the packages. Since you are paying for this packaging, why not make the most of it and try to reuse them? There are endless ideas that have been listed online regarding how to reuse packages. If you cannot reuse an item, share it with someone else and they might be able to reuse it. This concept of sharing used packages is called re-homing. You can donate to a local thrift store or share with your neighbor next door too if you think he can make good use of the package. An ideal waste management consultant would always suggest reusing in favor of buying new packages as it saves things and items from being wasted.

 

Repurpose and Repair 

Before disposing of an item, consider the ways in which it could be repurposed or repaired and then reused again. There are many exciting ways household items can be repurposed and repaired which depend upon your research and creativity. Repairing items is another way to reduce the consumption of materials and natural resources by your household. By placing value in the item you have and repairing when needed, you are sustaining the products you own and reducing waste and hence giving more respect to the environment and planet Earth. There are many resources online for learning how to repair household items which are really interesting to watch, read and learn.

 

Recycle 

There are plenty of local recycling programs that you can partake in. Recycling helps in creation of new items which can be used from waste. Recycling is a really effective way to save nature and our environment from more damage.

A recycling waste box with a recycle waste management sign on it.

image source: Unplash.com

 

 

Rot

Rot, which is also known as composting, is the act of turning food waste and other organic substances that have been used back into nutrient-rich soil. 

Plant based waste matter turning into nutrient rich soil in compost in a waste management process.

image source: Unplash.com

 

A waste management consultant would recommend using these 7R’s for properly managing waste in the kitchen and the laundry. 

   -Article by Sayam Raj Sagar

 

 

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