Here are a few thoughts on the Six R’s.
Refuse – When ever possible, refuse to be a part of the problem.
Example – Someone offers you a plastic bag to take your product from the store, decline and provide your own Eco friendly bag or request they provide paper.
If you forgot your bag, have them place everything back into the cart after they have recorded your purchase and then put the individual items into your vehicle. You can always bring your bag out to the car and bag everything there.
That is just one of an endless number of ways you can refuse to be a part of the problem.
Of course, it would be even better still if you did not have to buy products from the store anyway. Most everything is wrapped in plastic anyway so it is hard to get away from plastic entirely unless you skip the stores altogether.
Reduce – When ever possible, reduce your dependence in the system.
Example – Take public transportation, if available, rather than driving your own vehicle. Raise your own food, even if it is just one product that you use often. Eggs for example, chickens are relatively easy to raise and the taste difference in fresh eggs is incredible. You could always build or buy a chicken tractor to house your chickens, simple, quick and easy.
Reuse – Whenever possible, reuse everything.
Example – When you have emptied that jar of Jumbo pickles, reuse the jar as a beverage container (there’s one solution to a plastic pitcher).
Renew – Whenever possible, renew what you have taken.
Example – If you are dependent on the system, everyday you will be consuming without adding back anything of value. You’ll drive your vehicle to the store not considering that the fuel you just used is now gone and you have not replaced it with anything. You used the fuel from the earth and the earth received nothing in return to ensure that the renewal process would continue. Everything in existence has a “circle of life” if you will. You can not always take and expect to always get. Sooner or later, there will be no more for you to take.
What can you do? To replace the fuel you have used… nothing, not really anyway, but you could at least give something back. You could plant some trees, recycle your waste, compost your “manure” and even replace something that uses a lot of energy with something that uses less or none.
Recycle – Whenever possible, recycle everything.
Example – When your clothes wear out, get holes, get stains or no longer fit you. If they are still nice clothes in good condition, donate them to someone who could benefit. If they are no longer presentable, cut them up and use them for rags, to make a crocheted carpet, a patchwork quilt or even insulation.
Rethink – Always, always from now until you are no longer, rethink everything.
Example – Realize that you can make a difference. Even though you are just one person, your contribution towards eliminating our wasteful ways will influence at least one (most likely more than that) other person along the way. Which means not only did you contribute less, now there is someone else that is contributing less as well. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. You can make a difference.