We learned the 3 R’s of waste management in school – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. Lately the Zero Waste Movement has expanded this
Reduce: Use Less
Reuse: Don’t just throw things away or send them for recycling – use it for something else
Recycle: Send it to the recycling center. This is easier said than done. Often waste ends up in the dump because it wasn’t put in the right bin or wasn’t cleaned before being thrown away.
Recover: Sometimes it’s possible to recover energy or raw materials from items that cannot be, reused, repaired or recycled
Replace: Adopting eco-friendly products vs. those that produce trash
Repair: India has an amazing repair culture, torn pants, take them to the tailor. Broken chappal – guaranteed there is a mochi within walking distance.
And Finally – my new Favourite R – Refuse. It’s almost the same as reduce – but it is more about actively refusing. For example, every time I go to a restaurant, I make the waiter write down “NO STRAW” with my order. It may sound a bit over the top, but believe me, I’ve ended up with plenty a straw even after repeating myself about 10 times.