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The 5 Rs of Zero Waste

Through environmental week, a common theme and factor for the week are the 5 Rs! That’s right, the Rs have expanded from just Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Now they are Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot! Learn more about each below:

1. Refuse

The first step is refusing- AKA eliminating as much of your trash as possible. Say no to things like plastic, so that could mean making more trips to farmer’s market instead of the produce section at regular shopping stores. Be more conscious about the things you are buying and don’t just buy anything and everything in your path when shopping. Strategically buy just what you need and refuse/say no to anything in excess!

2. Reduce

Reduce your overall consumption of items! Don’t buy on impulse and simply choose to purchase the things that you truly need. Don’t just consume for the sake of consuming and choose to use the items you don’t need to use in excess. Reduce your overall use of plastic items and pick the items that you can ultimately reuse…which leads to the next step.

3. Reuse

Buy the things that you can use more than once, over and over again. A thermos for your coffee or tea, container for your lunch, water bottle, dish sponges, tote bags and more. The more you reuse items, the more you reduce your overall waste consumption!

4. Recycle

This just includes recycling your waste and separating it accurately! Recycling your plastics, metal and glass together, putting all landfill trash like stir sticks and wrappers together, organics like fruits & veggies, egg shells and bones together and more. Make sure you are recycling your waste properly and reduce your carbon footprint!

5. Rot

Get a compost bin for your organic waste to rot properly! You can put tea bags, food leftovers and fruits and veggies in this bin. Allow these items to rot as they’re intended to as opposed to throwing them out completely!

Interested in the 5Rs? You can find more resources online here: