Waste management is a major source of concern for environmentalists. We are discovering more about how our poor waste management affects our planet. Our irresponsible waste disposal contributes a lot to polluting our ponds, rivers lakes, and oceans. Global warming increases the greenhouse gas effect, and in our quest towards green earth, there are five rules on responsible waste management, otherwise known as the 5 Rs of waste management,

Refuse

Refusing helps, you avoid waste from the get-go. Saying no and getting alternatives is the way to go. Refuse plastics that can only be used once, this includes utensils, straws and coffee cups. It might not spear like much, but imagine how many people go into a coffee shop in one day! In a week, that is too many coffee cups dispensed for comfort.

 We should all look towards reusable alternatives such as reusable straws, bamboo utensils, or reusable coffee cups. Carrying them around in your bag allows you the freedom to refuse these single-use utensils and cups. It might sound ridiculous, but imagine if everybody did this!

Most of us love free things and say yes to every free coupon, swag bag, or flyer. Take only what you need and learn to refuse unnecessary items.

Reduce

Reducing just means buying what you need. Sometimes we go to the store and impulsively buy things we do not need but think we do. If you have to buy the product, ensure it is of the best quality within your budget. Good quality products last longer and reduce the number of times you need to replace it. Taking good care of the products also ensures your products last longer.

Reuse

Reuse and repair go together. When you decide whether to throw away an item or to buy a new one, check if it is possible to reuse it, or if it is repairable. This is mostly in regards to furniture, gadgets such as phones or laptops or clothes. If your gadget such as a phone or tablet is broken, consider repair before buying a new one.

Reusing means you can donate or sell items you no longer need to prevent them from going to the dumpsite. Yard sales will effectively get rid of things you do not need. Go to other yard sales and shop in various thrift shops to save money. You save a lot of money by reusing someone else’s junk.

A big problem with restaurants and hotels is cooking oil disposal. Used oil recycling is one way of helping alleviate the used oil disposal problem.

Recycle

Reduce waste by recycling. Recycling by making biodiesel is one way of recycling used cooking oil. You can either decide to make it yourself by reading up on the process on the internet or have it picked up by a used oil recycler in your area.

Before throwing anything away, check if there are ways to recycle the item. You can make some great DIY rugs from old clothes; old bottles also make for great DIY décor items. Just remember that more waste means more landfills and more environmental pollution.

Rot

The last step in the 5Rs of waste management is rot. Look at ways of composting to reduce waste by rotting or composting. Compost allfood scraps instead of throwing them into the trash can. These scraps provide you with great nutrient filled fertilizer for your backyard garden. Composting also helps to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that emanate from landfills.

Add your food scraps to a compost heap, worm farm or a Bokashi bin. For people who live in a rural area, or have a garden, a compost heap is a great idea. However, for people living in an apartment with a balcony, a worm farm is an idea to consider. The worms need special care, as they are living creatures. A Bokashi bin is a special bin that decomposes food fast and is ideal for people with no space.

Used oil recycling by using oil as a compost catalyst is also encouraged. However, this only works well with biodegradable oils such as rapeseed or canola oil, used in very small amounts.

Conclusion

Greenhouse gas emissions can only reduce if everyone makes a concerted effort towards waste management. The 5Rs are effective policies, which, if followed by everyone, would go a long way in achieving green earth.

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