5 R’s of Sustainability, Day 2: Reduce

Do you want to learn how you can be more “green” or “eco-conscious”? To help us celebrate National Reuse Day on Friday, October 20, throughout this week we will be sharing information about the “5 R’s of Sustainability”, how to be more eco-friendly, and Stardust’s role in the community.

Have you heard of the 5 R’s of Sustainability? They are made up of “Refuse”, “Reduce”, “Rot”, “Recycle”, and “Reuse”. (You may also see other versions including “Repair”, “Repurpose”, or “Reclaim”.)

The second R in the series, which we will talk about today, will be: “REDUCE”.

About Reduce

In this context, “Reduce” means reducing consumptive habits, which usually means being aware of the amount of products or items you buy (especially if those new items have lots of byproducts from production, or use large amount of wasteful packaging) – this is especially important with non-recyclable items. In conjunction with the 1st R, “Refuse”, “Reducing” items bought in the first place is shown to create a huge environmental impact because it means that less waste is going in the landfill: When you limit the use of these materials, you are making for a more sustainable future. Try to use the smallest amount of material to lessen the amount of excess waste.

Changes You Can Make

If you want to take a step forward, here are some small changes you can make to help:

  • Minimize purchases of items that have wasteful packaging, or dangerous byproducts
  • Use energy-efficient appliances, lights, doors, windows, and fixtures (bonus: can help keep your individual utility bills down!)
  • Sign up for paperless billing through your utilities, bank, school/work, etc

Ready for some bigger changes? Try these out:

  • Challenge yourself to a “no buy” week, month, etc, and see how much you can save!
  • Look for grocery stores that sell dry goods in bulk, and bring your own containers to store them in (no more cans/boxes/envelops to throw out!)

How Is Stardust “Reducing”?

So, how does Stardust fit into all of this? While our focus is on reuse (another of the 5 R’s!), we do support other efforts in our community. One of the main ways we encourage folks to “reduce” is by shopping at our stores – yes, it’s really that easy! By buying salvaged goods or reusable materials at stores like Stardust, you are helping to reduce the need for new product manufacturing, and helping to reduce the amount of waste! Together, we can help #StarveTheLandfill.

Want to learn more? Check out these resources: