A zero waste lifestyle is proving to be immensely profitable not just for homeowners but for business owners across the world as well. With increasing pressure on saving precious resources and reducing the burden on the environment which sustains us, the 5 R’s can help anyone looking for efficient waste management. They are the foundation on which anyone can start building a zero waste lifestyle.

Let’s understand these 5 R’s in detail.

  1. Refuse – The first R is the simplest. Refuse or say no to products which harm the environment. For instance, you can say no to single use plastic products. Opt for eco-friendly cleaners or make them on your own with green products which are easily available at your home. Refuse freebies such as swag bags or pens even though they might seem tempting. A majority of such free items feel ‘too’ good to refuse or throw away but are actually useless to keep. It’s that simple – refusing will help bring down your trash tremendously.
  1. Reduce – You would be surprised by the number of things you own which have rarely or never been actually used. Impulse buying is a major reason we often end up with unnecessary things which we might never use. Donating or selling is a brilliant solution for this. Get in touch with the local groups to donate or sell. You get to reduce unwanted things from your home or organization and someone else gets to reuse your things instead of buying new products. Also, getting an energy audit can help you gauge, identify and reduce extra amount of energy consumed. It not only helps the environment but also saves you a lot of money in the long run.
  1. Reuse – We tend to use a lot of disposable items without even realizing their effect on the environment. Such items need to be bought again and again which means wastage of money and resources required for manufacturing them. You would be surprised to know that almost all of these disposable items are easily replaceable with reusable options. Here are some examples for the same:
  • Paper bags – Cloth bags
  • Tissues – Handkerchiefs
  • Plastic water bottles – glass or stainless steel water bottles
  • Disposable lunch bags – stainless steel food containers
  • Disposable razors – electric shaver or double-blade razor

Also, thrift shopping is a great alternative if you are looking to reduce your environmental impact through reusing. You can buy smarter, save money and get some really creative options.

  1. Repurpose – This means taking a product and exploring how it can be used as something else. Repurposing may require a bit of innovative thinking but it has tremendous possibilities. For instance, you can repurpose old yoga mats as foot pads for furniture or redo old cardboard boxes for storage purposes.
  2. Recycle – Recycling may be the last of the 5 R’s but is still the most powerful of them all. It is also one of the most profitable businesses today. For e.g., businesses the world over use industrial paper shredders to recycle their paper waste. This helps them boost their financial as well as environmental bottom line.

Be it homeowners or business owners, everyone can find a lot of opportunities to put these 5 R’s in practice. You will be surprised about the extent of positive impact you can make on environment and cut down unnecessary costs with the help of these 5 R’s.


Author Bio: Erich Lawson is passionate about saving the environment through effective recycling techniques and modern innovations. He works with Compactor Management Company and writes on a variety of topics related to recycling, including tips and advice on how balers, compactors and shredders can be used to reduce industrial waste. He loves helping businesses understand how to lower their monthly garbage bills and increase revenue from recycling.