The 7Rs can help use to be more responsible consumers and to behave more sustainably.
The shift to a circular economy starts with product design. At this stage, we decide what kinds of materials will be used to manufacture a product, what packaging we will use, how it will be manufactured, etc.
Design that embraces eco issues, known as eco-design, allows us to manufacture products whose design takes account of the environment and sustainability.
We will only manage to reduce consumption when we change our consumer behaviour and move to a more sustainable model of consumption. Reduced consumption is an essential part of looking after our planet. Lower consumption reduces the volume of waste, uses fewer raw materials and less water and reduces pollution, energy consumption and waste.
Reducing excessive waste is easier when we reuse products and extend their useful life, whether we use them again as they are or adapt them to new uses with some crafty DIY. A quick search online and you can find hundreds of possible uses for any product!
When a product breaks, we tend to throw it away and buy a new one without even thinking about repairing it. What if it was easy to repair? Sometimes, repair can work out cheaper, and it is always better for the environment! We save raw materials and energy and we don’t generate any waste.
Try to revive old things that can still be used for their original purpose. Do you remember record players? They’re very fashionable and they were invented in 1925!
Recover used materials to put them back into the productive process.
Recycling is the use of waste in production, using waste as a raw material for the production of new products. Disposing of recyclables in the right container lengthens the life cycle of products, saves raw materials and helps the environment through lower emissions from manufacturing.
The 7Rs are more than just initials: they are a guide to help us change our habits and how we understand the economy. Moving from a linear economy to a more sustainable and robust economy, the circular economy.
Helping the environment and becoming responsible and sustainable consumers is something we can all do. Let’s make it happen!