Most people have heard of the 3 concepts reduce, reuse and recycle, but what are the differences, and did you know that they’re mentioned in order of importance? The terms are often confused, while the concepts are very different. Although they are interconnected and all support the same goal of maintaining a healthy world, it’s important to know where to start the circle that helps to preserve natural resources and protects the planet.
Reducing simply means to consume and use less. By cutting back on unnecessary purchases, natural resources will be saved, you help to protect the environment ánd you will save some euros! Rethink your purchases and decisions and make it part of your lifestyle. You can for example reduce on driving by taking your bicycle, carpooling, or using public transportation. Take shorter showers to minimise your water consumption and make sure your appliances are Energy Star certified.
By reusing a product, the goal is to lengthen the life of it by repurposing the object itself. The product can be used for the same or a different purpose, but always keeps its original form. You can either buy or sell used goods or repair them rather than discarding them. An old t-shirt can easily become a cleaning rag for example. By reusing and repurposing products, you reduce the need for raw materials taken from the Earth and the amount of energy needed to manufacture new products. There’s no waste generated, you save on the purchasing costs, and you will often choose for a higher quality product that lasts.
Recycling is the reprocessing of an item into a raw material that can be used again to produce a new product. The form, shape and purpose of the product will in most cases completely change. With recycling, potentially useful material is reused, and it therefore reduces the amount of waste and raw material needed to create a new product. It’s the less preferred option though, as recycling can be an energy-consuming procedure that’s expensive and still produces waste and pollution. Although it’s still much better than the landfill, it should never be your first option!
The 3 concepts together form a circle that will eliminate waste. Reduce comes before a product is even produced. But when a product is produced and consumed, it can be repaired and reused. After it’s been reused it can go to the recycling and used to produce a new product that follows the same cycle again.
Before purchasing a new product, always ask yourself if you actually need it and if there’s a way to reuse an old product or buy it at a second-hand shop. Every small step to a zero-waste lifestyle helps to protect the beautiful world we live in.
With Bolsita Verde, we make sure that you can enjoy your weekly meal kits with a conscious mind. Our responsible packaging system allows us to source our products in bulk and without plastic and to reuse the jars the ingredients are packed in and the cooler bags your meal kit is delivered in. There’s simply no reason for unnecessary waste!
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