Some people still believe that the sustainability 'trend' will blow over and won't last long. But then they are probably the same ignorant people who believe that Climate Change isn't happening. Sustainability and the R's of it have always been an important part of different cultures and lifestyles. We've heard about them even back in our school days, in General Knowledge. But how many of us still remember the 3 R's that we learnt? Very few of us, most likely.
Let me tell you in detail the 6 R's of Sustainability that has struck a chord with me. These are the ones I totally believe in and implement in my life in all possible ways. They are super simple to understand. Even simpler to make part of your life too. All you need is to believe that these are necessary steps and have the will power to practice them.
Building blocks of sustainability
Watch this video if you're a lazy reader, to know all about the 6 R's of Sustainability. In the video, I've also mentioned 2 additional R's that are more philosophical in nature.
Saying No to any item that you know would end up in the landfill at the end of its lifecycle. It can be the Straw that you refuse to use at the nearby Cafe, or the plastic bottle you refuse to purchase while travelling, or even the promotional pamphlets that you might be offered when you go shopping at a store. Anything that you do not need to bring home, you should outright refuse to use.
This might seem hard as you may need to practice against our mindset conditioning which has always encouraged us to take part in any convenient activity. But this practice will take over, in time. So just be more mindful and you'll succeed at it.
Look around your house!
Do you have enough items or an excessive number of items all around you?
Well, it's time to declutter and follow one of the principles of minimalism. This helps us prioritize the most important items that we require and helps us keep a check on ourselves when acquiring new products in the future.
This R pushes us to practice self-control and makes us realise the difference between Need and Want.
The practice that we have been engaging in for centuries.
We hardly discard any of the jars that we acquire in the kitchen. We keep finding ways of reusing it for various purposes. Similarly, we do the same with newspapers, delivery boxes, old clothing and so on. This has been a stereotypical part of Indian lifestyle, which I'm proud of. I hope that we keep at it, for good.
How many of you actually went and repaired your shoes or the zipper of your jeans lately?
I would believe that the number of people who do that has been diminishing over the last couple of decades. This habit which was so common amongst us, Indians, is now almost long gone. All thanks to products being manufactured for disposable means. Hence everything is cheaper and much more convenient to just throw away and buy another one. And this is one of the primary reasons for products that could last very long-after a small repair- ends up at landfills constantly.
I really hope that the next time a shoe sole comes loose, you would first take it to a cobbler, before deciding to dispose of it.
This R is defined by the process of Composting. This is now slowly becoming more and more popular amongst most households and rightfully so. Over 60% of the waste produced by any household comprises Food Waste. Instead of throwing away that food which is naturally bio-degradable, the wisest choice would be to start composting at home.
A lot of different pots and containers have been designed for composting and are available in the market. And each of us can choose the one that works best for our household and budget.
The most popular R which is what everyone points to, to get rid of their own guilty conscience. People believe that Recycling is the End-All of the usage of plastic and other non-recyclable products. But most people are not aware that over 60% of products that are taken for recycling, end up at the landfill. Very less percentage of recycling is taking place in reality, unlike popular belief.
Recycling should become the process that is thought of when none of the previously mentioned R's is possible. And it should never become the first thought when it comes to any product.
2 More R's
Well, I've got a bit of a surprise for you. I've found two more R's which are a bit more philosophical in nature.
We basically need to respect our whole eco-system including us humans, the animals, the reptiles, the birds, the trees and so on. And try to not deplore more than the necessary. Right now, the natural resources we are depleting is happening at an insane rate. Unless we pause and take a breath, we are not going to have much left. So try and respect the resources that you borrow and minimise your carbon footprint.
Any of your clothes that you never were a huge fan of? Or maybe lipsticks that don't look good on you? Or sunglasses a little too big for you? We all have several items at home that we have hardly/never used because of our aesthetic sense maybe. Instead of letting it just pile up at home, why not donate or give it to your friends or family? Or if it was something you don't want to give away for free, then sell it. There are plenty of websites or groups where you have this option. So instead of having the item be wasted, let someone who would appreciate it, have it.
So those were the 8 R's that I've recognised. There are definitely more of these that you would find on the internet. So in case you find more of these, do COMMENT below and let me know.
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