The 20Rs of Sustainability

Do you remember when there were just 3R’s that added as a guide to living sustainably? Well then I came across five. Someone had adeed a couple. ‘I’ll write about them.’ I thought. And then another idea came to me. ‘What if there were more than that’. So I did a quick and dirty ‘Google’ search. Whoah! There were millions! Oh okay I’m exaggerating. But if my wordcount is correct I’ve come up with twenty that I’ve begged, stolen and borrowed from other websites. Blimey! I’ve even made up some all on my own.

So here’s some examples from my pretty ordinary life about what I’ve done to make a teeny tiny bit of a difference. I’m nowhere near perfect but writing this list may help me to Reflect on what I can do better in the future. Wait: Is that yet another R!

Recover: My mosaics aren’t made on newly bought wood or tiles. I use things that are lying around that otherwise might have been thrown away.

Recycle: The council takes care of this for me much better these days. Gone are the days of trips to the bottle bank except on holiday. Having labels on my caddies to show me what goes where has really helped simplify the process.

Reduce: Paper is the obvious one here. It is so rare that I need to print something out these days. Of course , with a reliance on technology, it’s helpful to think of our I.T. footprint with a reliance on technology instead.

Refill: One where I could do better using those lovely zero waste shops that have sprung up. But for now I’ve bought big containers of cleaning products and refill more manageable ones. Less materials, less waste. Oh and of course, like any wannabe eco warrior, I have my own refillable coffee cup and water bottle.

Refuse: It’s so rare that I have to buy a carrier bag these days. Bringing my own is habitual. Those lovely Trader Joe bags that I’ve written about before are my go to. They last an absolute age.

Regift: I do this quite a bit. Books, clothes, furniture. You name it. Things go to charity shops, friends or complete strangers.. Left outside the home with a ‘Free to a Good Home’ label there’s usually a taker.

Reheat: Leftovers: I love ’em as a quick supper or nuked for a few minutes at work.

Reinvent: I try to be creative about how I go about things, for example thinking about how to combine car journey’s to reduce overall mileage.

Remember: Being mindful when shopping. Thinking about whether I actually need something, where and how it was produced and how it is packed.

Rent: I’ve not done this for a wee while but have gone to hire shops for tools that I’m only going to use as a one off. Oh and I’ve just remembered something else that comes into this category. Before buying Klaus the Knaus, we had a holiday in a hire motorhome just to see if we liked it. For a big investment it was a jolly good idea to see if we actually liked spending holidays in our own small space.

Repair: Hot Stuff, my ever so handy boyfriend, is a dab hand at this. Swoon! Food mixers and vacuum cleaners are his particular specialties.

Replant: Ecosia is my go to search engine. The guys there plant trees from the profits of my searches.

Repurpose: Fabric is the first think that comes to mind. Here’s a favourite T-shirt of Louis’ bought on a holiday to Vancouver when he was twelve. Of course it doesn’t fit now but it made a very natty facemask.

Resell: I am getting so much better at this. Facebook Marketplace and Ebay are my friends for making me a little bit of cash from what I no longer need anymore.

Respect: Thinking about where my food comes from is maybe more pertinent for a family who chooses to eat meat. We make informed choices that are not always the cheapest option.

Restore: I’m thinking about this heading in terms of leaving no footprints when camping. I try to make sure that nothing is left behind, rubbish is recycled and I might have even done a little litterpicking to restore somewhere so it is better than when I arrived.

Rethink: Educating myself by reading books and articles about sustainability and listening to YouTube and TED talks so my attitude evolves in the right direction.

Return: Is something not fit for purpose or no longer needed a short time after purchase. I’m getting better at sending stuff back.

Reuse: A long time back I used towelling nappies. They really were no bother at all. I mention them now because they made such a difference to reducing what I sent to landfill. Financially too they were such a good buy. I even sold them on after Louis was potty trained.

Rot: We have a compost heap bought cheaply from my local council, presumably because it saves them money if I chuck away stuff in my own garden. It gets hot and is full of wiggies, an endless source of fascination.

There you go! A little look at my quest to be more sustainable. I’m nowhere near perfect but it’s a start. I’ll keep on tweaking to see if I can get better at this.

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2 Comments

  1. It’s a pretty massive lists of ways we can reduce our footprint, waste fewer resources, and increase the funds that stay in our pockets.

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