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The Three R's

October is the month of promoting the 3Rs. The 3Rs stand for Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. In this era of climate change, it is necessary to decrease the amount of waste. As a proper citizen, everyone should know about this to save the environment from pollution.

If you have any queries or interests about the process of reducing, reusing, and recycling, this article is going to show you in the right direction. It will change your mind about 3Rs and show you how the concept of 3Rs can change the world radically and make a new era of usable things that will affect our daily lives and make our lives easier.

Though reduce, reuse, and recycle are not new words, using them in real life is a huge concept for a practical impact. It can change a lot in our daily life.

What Does Reduce Mean?

The word ‘reduce’ refers to the minimisation of anything. But in this 3R policy, reducing means cutting down the amount of waste that human beings produce as it is harmful to the environment. In order to save the world, there is a need to reduce the amount of waste created, and each person has their part to play.

By simply reducing the number of products you consume, you contribute towards the reduction of waste. Moreover, it also helps you save money.

How Can You Reduce Waste?

Reducing waste is not impossible. It is necessary to think about the welfare of our environment for the betterment of humankind. This is how you can reduce your daily waste:

Buy Only Necessary Things

Simply put, you should only buy the necessary things you need. Sometimes, you will find yourself purchasing unnecessary items without any plan. You should avoid this kind of an action because when you buy more, you waste more. When you go shopping, you should forego luxury and go for necessities. You can make a list before going to the grocery store to remember what you need. This helps you to remember the necessary things and restrain yourself from buying unnecessary goods.

There’s also another trick that you can follow to see to it that you stick to necessities. When you see any kind of good which looks good but is not necessary, you should wait for a minimum of three days before purchasing it. After three days, if you still feel that you need it, buy it. This trick allows you to forget about something if it is not necessary.

Buy Things in Bulk

It's infinitely better to buy things in bulk to reduce the amount of waste from packaging as you purchase items for use. What about the packet? If you get a packet for every single thing, you will gather a vast pile of packets. Though paper bags are disposable, plastic bags are not. These indispensable plastic wastes are incredibly harmful to the environment.

You should also try to buy products with less packaging. If possible, you should carry all your items in one bag. To avoid soil pollution, you can use paper bags instead of plastic ones. Though it will take time, it is a step in the right direction.

Buy Reusable Products

Always try to buy those kinds of products that are reusable. Doing this will help to minimise waste, and you can also save some money in the process. This decision will also help you to save some space in your house.

What Does Reuse Mean?

Reusing refers to finding another purpose for a particular item instead of throwing it away. This, in turn, reduces the number of things that you consume which plays a massive part in reducing environmental pollution. Sometimes, you might find yourself throwing out any old things like clothes and containers before thinking about reusing them.

Reusing is a helpful hack that minimises wastage of things; it increases the productivity and usefulness of something. Think about that old mattress or old tyre; you do not have to throw them away. You can find innovative alternative uses for them and engage in some DIY activities to create things like dog beds or swings for your kids. It's phenomenal just how much you can do using something that you consider to be waste.

How Can You Reuse Waste?

You can reuse items that you are no longer using in various ways. Different products have different reuses. Here are a few ways that you can practise conscious reusing of items:

• You can refill any water bottles you have instead of buying a new one. You can refill glass bottles or use them as containers or flower vases. You can even do some paintwork on them to make them into a flower vase that matches your décor.

• You can use your cardboard to make boxes or cabinets. You can also make decorations with waste cardboard. You get to save money, have some house décor and play your part in conserving the environment.

• You can transfer all your work into one computer to avoid the hassle of buying a new one. It’s a better option to update the previous one rather than buy a new one.

• You should reuse the containers in your kids' school projects.

• Jars are reused for the storage of foods and other groceries.

• You can use your old clothes and towels as house rags and for other purposes. You can also donate your outgrown clothes and other accessories for charity purposes and make someone in need smile.

• Try to buy reusable bags for shopping to avoid unnecessary waste of bags. This way, you get to use the same bag each time you go shopping.

• Buy second-hand things if possible. You can also sell your extra belongings and get some money.

What Does Recycle Mean?

Recycling means converting waste into reusable new material. Most of our waste can be converted into new things by recycling. Recycling is actually a process of altering a waste thing into a new one via a particular procedure.

How Can You Recycle Waste?

Different products are recycled in different ways. Plastics, papers, and clothes are recycled in different ways and for various purposes.

How is Plastic Recycled?

Nowadays, you can find plastic in just about every part of your surrounding environment. From bottles to grocery bags, it is borderline impossible to find a place without plastic items. Plastic is recycled in a particular process. Plastic items are first collected then separated into different categories based on the type of plastic. There are so many types of plastics according to their polymer category. Below are a few examples:

• PET: Polyethylene Terephthalate is a kind of thermoplastic. This material is thin and perfect for making soft things like soft drink bottles and clothes. This category is quite popular in the field of recycling.

• PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride is another type of thermoplastic. Wires, pipes, bottles, and cling films are all made from this type of plastic.

• HDPE and LDPE: High-Density Polyethylene is a material used to make plastic boxes, plastic furniture, and plastic jar lids. It is softer and more flexible than the other plastics. Gallons and pipes are also usually produced from these. Low-Density Polyethylene is the opposite of HDPE. This type of plastic can be used for making plastic bags.

Step One: Collection

The first step of plastic recycling is to collect the waste of plastic. Volunteers collect these plastics from houses, offices, and other places. Some recyclers keep bins outside these places. Some aware citizens also hire skip bins to dispose of their waste.

Step Two: Sorting

Next, the plastic is sorted into categories. They sort the plastics according to colour and material. Size and colour also matter while separating.

Step Three: Cleaning

After separating, recyclers wash the materials to remove all contaminants. Some plastics contain high levels of dirt, glue, and other particles. So, they need to be cleaned in a proper way.

Step Four: Shredding

It is quite impossible to recycle plastic in its developed stage. The recyclers resize them to a form in which they can be recycled. Then, they put the materials into shedders to reduce the plastic into fragments.

Step Five: Separation

After resizing, the plastics are identified and separated.

Step Six: Compounding

Compounding is the final process. Here the recyclers convert the plastic particles into materials that manufacturers can reproduce. Compounding also includes smashing and melting plastics to create pallets. This procedure is also called extrusion.

How is Glass Recycled?

This procedure is pretty similar to the plastic recycling procedure.

Step One: Collection

Glasses are picked from bins and taken to a glass recycling plant.

Step Two: Sorting

Then, they are sorted according to colour and size.

Step Three: Cleaning

They are washed to clear impurities.

Step Four: Melting

Then, they are smashed and melted.

Step Five: Moulding

Lastly, they are moulded and given the shape of various things like bottles, jars, etc.

How are Other Waste Types Recycled?

• Fruit and vegetable waste is recycled to make compost fertiliser.

• Paper gets recycled into newspaper and other materials like cardboard.

• Construction waste like concrete can be recycled for use in building road bases and trenches.

What Are The Benefits Of The 3Rs?

It is common knowledge that the climate is changing day by day, and the fault goes to human beings and their harmful activities. People are using artificial things a lot and producing a lot of non-disposable waste. However, this reality can change if people actively practise the 3Rs. The benefits of reducing, reusing, and recycling include:

• It helps us to avoid producing extra artificial waste. Producing less waste saves our environment from pollution. There are so many artificial wastes like plastic which are very much harmful to our soil and air. By reusing and recycling them, the chances of global warming significantly decrease.

• Reusing products allows you to save money which you can use on something else. Donating old clothes and other things for reuse helps those in need.

• By reducing, reusing, and recycling, you are saving energy and fossil fuels.

• Provides relief from looking for new raw materials.

Conserve The Environment Using The 3Rs

So, the above discussion was all about reducing, reusing, and recycling. Most people dispose of their waste incorrectly, which increases the amount of waste in the environment. The excessive increase of this waste is harmful to human beings and the environment. Therefore, each and every single person should intentionally observe the 3Rs as it is our duty to conserve the environment. After all, a healthy environment equals a healthy life!