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The Importance of the Three R’s


The Importance of the Three R’s : Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The three R’s : Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. These three are the best way to make a positive impact on our environment. It’s important to put these into practice, as landfill space is quickly running out, the plastic pollution in our oceans are increasing, and our environment is deteriorating at a faster pace.  

 Reduce Reuse Recycle

Reduce: One of the best ways to help the environment is to reduce the amount of waste you produce!

  • Shopping - The majority of grocery stores are even getting on board, offering bins of beans, popcorn kernels, nuts, and seeds and more, to buy in bulk, to aid in the effort of reducing packaging waste. When shopping, keep in mind the amount of packaging material you are buying, and having to toss out. Meats still come in Styrofoam trays and plastic packaging are used to extend shelf life. These can be inevitable with some food items, so make sure you recycle what CAN be recycled, like items in cans and cardboard packaging. It’s a good thing to be mindful of.

  • Carpooling – carpooling, walking, taking public transportation or riding your bike instead of driving can make more of an impact that you think. Not only do you save on gas, but you reduce the amount of emissions that are polluting our air quality.

  • Decluttering – Some of us have a bad habit of throwing away things when we are decluttering or spring cleaning our homes, work spaces, and garages. The majority of things that typically get thrown out, can in fact be donated. Check out where there is a donation center near you. Having a block party or multi-neighbor garage sale is also a great way to get rid of unwanted items instead of just throwing them away, plus, you could earn some extra pocket cash. They also have great online resources where you can post your items right from your phone, like the Facebook market place, the Letgo App, or Craigslist. Sometimes, parking lots in shopping centers have a clothes donation drop off box. These are donated to people in need, or textile companies pick them up and they get recycled into workable materials. Clothes take anywhere from 3 months-80 years to decompose in landfill depending on what material they are made with. There are also tons of fun ways to repurpose and reuse your clothes to turn them into something else that’s useful to you!

  • Work place – Print on both sides to reduce how many pages you print. Bring your own silverware and reusable napkins when eating lunch at work. It’s always a good idea to use a reusable bag to being these in as well.

  • Food Waste – The majority of people don’t realize that food waste rots in landfill and releases methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Regardless if you think global warming is a hoax or not, landfill space is filling up, and we are running out of places to put all of our waste. An easy way to reduce food waste is to start composting. If you don’t garden, or time or space for an outdoor compost pile, food waste can be tossed into your green waste organics bin on garbage pickup day. Waste management companies usually provide this bin for free or for a low cost. It’s ideal for yard trimmings, and food waste. Read up on why composting is important, and learn how you can do your part to start reducing your food waste!


Reuse: Instead of using one-time use items, like plastic water bottles or plastic grocery bags, opt in for a reusable option.

Food & drink – Store leftovers in reusable containers instead of using plastic zipper baggies. Pack lunches in these containers as well. Reusing jars that sauces, salsas, etc. come in make great storage jars as well! Jars in general are awesome for storing home-made items, or if you’re buying in bulk from the bulk grocery bins as discussed in the Reduce section, jars make great storage for a zero waste transition. Bring your own silverware when packing your lunch for school or work – you’ll feel better about not tossing a plastic one in the garbage every day. Same with a reusable coffee mug or reusable water bottle. The majority of coffee shops actually provide you with a small discount if you bring your own travel mug!

Shopping – Swoop a reusable tote to go grocery shopping with, and choose reusable produce bags to truly eliminate the plastic consumption issue!

Clothes & household items – There are a TON of upcycle ideas, crafts, and ways to upcycle and reuse old clothing and old houseware items. We gathered a few ideas for you.

Work place & School – Use both sides of writing paper. Create scratch paper for reminders, notes, and important tasks by cutting paper into 4’s – this is a great way to use up all the paper you can before recycling it.  

Recycle: Recycling is beneficial in so many ways. Not only are you preventing recyclable items from ending up in landfill where it can take 100’s of years to decompose, but you’re giving your recyclable item a chance to get made into something else.

  • Check out our recycling basics to see what your recyclables are made into. Recycling also reduces air and water pollution, along with reducing landfill space needed for items that can’t be recycled.

  • It's important to recycle in the right bins or areas, the below are items that usually aren't picked up curbside. 

  • Car Parts:

    • Motor oils - many auto parts stores accept used motor oil and other auto fluids for recycling or disposal! DO NOT throw motor oils in the basic trash bin - this is considered a hazardous waste.

    • Car Batteries - these can also be recycled. Take them to your auto shop or car parts store, they have a program where they ship these out to be recycled properly. 

    • Tires - Tires are typically not even allowed to be dropped off at landfills - take them to a local recycling facility or tire retailer and they will take it off your hands for you. 

  • Electronics:

    • Inkjet Cartridges - More than 500 million printer cartridges are sold each year in the United States, and more than half — 350 million of those — are sent to landfills. Toner cartridges are both recyclable and reusable, so more eco-friendly options for disposal exist. There are two main choices for keeping printer cartridges out of landfills: recycling and refilling them.(Earth911.com). Many office supply stores offer to recycle your cartridges for you

    • Batteries - In some areas, it's actually illegal to throw away rechargeable batteries in the garbage due to the heavy metal elements in them. Single use batteries on the other hand are easier to recycle. You can drop them off at a local facility, or many counties even have an e-waste program that offers curbside pickup or mail in recycling options. 

    • Computers & Monitors - See if you can donate these items first. If not, manby e-waste programs offer curbside pick up or drop off locations that recycles these properly. 


It’s important to be mindful of the three R’s in our everyday life. Our environment does so much for us, it’s time to do the same for our Earth and environment.

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  • Gabriella De Luca