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America Recycles Day 2023: Embracing 6 R's of Sustainable Living

Every year on November 15th, America Recycles Day serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible waste management and sustainable living practices. This day encourages individuals, communities, and businesses to rethink their consumption habits and adopt a holistic approach to waste reduction. Learn about six R's of sustainability to celebrate the holiday!

Reusable crochet grocery bag carrying produce

Refuse: The first step in sustainable living is to refuse unnecessary items. By being mindful of what we purchase and rejecting single-use plastics and excess packaging, we can directly reduce the amount of waste generated.

Reduce: Minimizing consumption is another vital aspect of sustainable living. By opting for products with longer lifecycles and reducing overall consumption, we can decrease our ecological footprint and conserve resources.

Upcycled planter

Reuse: Reusing items not only saves money but also reduces waste. From using cloth bags instead of plastic ones to repurposing containers, embracing a culture of reuse extends the lifespan of products and reduces the demand for new ones.

Repair: In a throwaway culture, repairing items has taken a backseat to replacement. Yet, repairing appliances, clothing, and other items can significantly extend their usability, reducing waste and promoting a more sustainable mindset!

Compost bin with purple flowers shaped into a heart in center

Rot: Composting (aka, rotting organic matter) is the natural process of decomposing organic matter into nutrient-rich soil. While traditional recycling focuses on transforming materials like paper, plastic, and glass, composting tackles organic waste like food scraps and yard trimmings. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, composting can divert almost 30% of household waste from landfills and reduces methane emissions!

Recycle: Recycling has long been championed as a critical step in reducing waste and conserving resources. By converting used materials into new products, we decrease the demand for raw materials and curb energy consumption. Recycling is the final R of the 6 R’s - taken just before throwing something away in the trash. It's important to recognize that recycling alone isn't a cure-all solution and must be supplemented with a range of other waste management tactics before you throw something in the blue bin!

America Recycles Day reminds us of the interconnectedness between our consumption patterns and the environment. By following the 6 R's — Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Rot, and Recycle — we can pave the way for a more sustainable future. Happy composting!


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