Save the Planet and Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Save the Planet and Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

We all have a responsibility to treat our planet respectfully. With our dwindling natural resources, we can try to be mindful of what waste materials we contribute and how they impact our greenhouse gas emissions - there are easy and helpful ways that we all can help do our part. 

Much of the work that needs to be done can be boiled down to one phrase that is as simple as it is catchy: reduce, reuse, recycle.

You have probably heard this saying before, but what does it actually mean? You may know some of the basics, or maybe you are a seasoned pro at the Three R’s art, but there are always more intricacies to be explored. When you really think about it, there are so many ways to apply these core tenets to our daily lives to make a real, tangible, positive difference in the world.

The first step is simply being aware that changes have to be made and then researching the topic. So, congratulations! Step one has begun. We’ll let you in on a little secret, though. This step never fully stops. We can all do more research on the state of our planet and what we can do to help preserve it.

While education is a never-ending journey, that doesn’t mean we can’t start implementing many of the important tips and tricks that we have learned.

What Does It Mean to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”?

Reducing, reusing, and recycling can mean slightly different things to different people. How these three terms relate to your life will depend on your current usage, what you use, and how you use it. They also apply to many different aspects of life. Essentially any facet of your life that involves using a product will involve at least one of these stages.

Reduce, reuse, recycle is as much a frame of mind as a series of tasks. If you consume and choose products with these ideas at the forefront of your brain, it becomes much easier to follow through on them later in the process.


The first step in this crucial cycle is to reduce the amount you use. This could be in the form of decreasing and hopefully eliminating food waste, only getting what you really need, or just embracing a more minimalist lifestyle. There are so many ways we can all reduce the items we use in our daily lives.

Reduction does not only apply to individuals, either. All of these ideas apply to large corporations as well, and it’s a good thing that is the case when you consider the following statistic. Just 100 companies around the world comprise over 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

While personal and individual responsibility is undoubtedly an important factor in the fight against climate change, there is absolutely no doubt that corporations take a lot of the blame. This realization can make people feel less empowered in the fight for sustainability, but this actually should not be the case. 

Corporations such as these clearly do not operate with the environment as a priority, and instead, they are much more interested in their bottom line. Part of reducing what we use is being mindful of the manufacturers we support. Money talks, so by spending our hard-earned money at companies that prioritize the environment (like Bite), we send a message to these other corporations that innovation is not just welcomed but necessary.

This will cause them to enter the 21st century and hopefully largely cut down on their use of fossil fuels and non-renewable energy sources before it is too late. For these companies, reducing also means using less packaging when shipping out products and looking into more sustainable shipping alternatives.

For instance, composting is an even better option for getting rid of items that you are done with. If you have a garden, you can even put a compost bin right in your backyard. Food scraps and other natural materials such as leaves, paper towels, and other waste materials can be put into the compost. Before getting started, be sure to look up a guide of what to and what not to put in your home compost.

So always be aware of what you purchase, whether you really need that item, where you are purchasing from, that company’s values, and what we can do to lower our overall consumption.


Next up in the Three R’s, we have “reuse.” This one is somewhat self-explanatory but no less important than its counterparts. Look around and see what you already have. Chances are, much of your old items are still perfectly good and ready to be given new life. Anything from old clothes to cloth napkins to rags and many other household items can all be used in either a new way or otherwise repurposed to give them meaning again.

Even if there are some items around your home that you no longer use, the secondhand market is a blossoming marketplace. Not only are these goods cheaper for those who purchase them, but they also offer the seller a great opportunity to sustainably get rid of what they already had lying around. In some cases, you can even make money off of the transaction. 

Unwanted clothes can go to thrift stores, as can other items you may see as household waste but may still have utility. Yard sales are also a wonderful way to see if the residents in your neighborhood could get any use out of what you already have.

Reusing is a great way to avoid even more trash taking up already wildly overcrowded landfill space. 

Rather than using plastic bags that so often pollute our oceans and harm wildlife, invest in some reusable bags to bring with you the next time you go to the grocery store. We go through 100 billion plastic bags in the United States alone, and it inevitably ends up either in a landfill or in our natural water reserves.

Reusing allows efficient use of resources to thrive, rather than the much more wasteful ways of the past.


Lastly, we have the ever-important art of recycling. When an item has finally reached the end of its natural lifecycle and can no longer be upcycled, turned into something else, or given away, it is time to dispose of it in a responsible way where it will eventually biodegrade and return to the earth. 

Many paper products constitute recyclable items, and many more items around your house may be recycled once you are done with them. Always look for a recycling symbol on cardboard and plastic packaging. 

Recycling can also represent other forms of sustainable disposal, as well. 

Then there is the issue of old electronics, batteries, and larger appliances. How can you responsibly dispose of them once they no longer function? Luckily many services offer pickup programs for these recyclable items. 

Many organizations will even collect old cell phones that are still functional for those who cannot afford them. Some places will even pick up larger items curbside as a bonus for your convenience.

What Can’t Be Recycled?

Now that we’ve gone over what can be recycled let’s establish some things that can’t be recycled.

Plastic Bags and Utensils

These forms of plastic can’t be recycled and therefore just pollute the planet. This is why reusable bags and utensils are so important for the future of the earth.

Polystyrene Foam

This is often used as filler in packages, possibly in the form of packing peanuts. These cannot be recycled, but they can possibly be brought to a post office for reuse.

Food-Soiled Items

Something like paper napkins, paper towels, or aluminum foil that may have otherwise been recyclable will be rendered otherwise if there is a large amount of food or grease on it.

Most Broken Glass

As a general rule, broken glass cannot be recycled because it can cause injury and jam machinery.perhaps

How Does Being Waste-Free Help the Planet?

Being waste-free helps the planet in so many ways. We’ll highlight just a few of them below.

Helps Reduce Pollution

Less waste means that there are fewer materials that could possibly pollute any new landfill or the ocean.

Helps Conserve Natural Resources

Reducing how much we use and being waste-free allows us to use natural resources when necessary. For too long, we have used resources without care, and it is going to catch up to us if we don’t change our ways.

Helps Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Being zero waste reduces greenhouse gas emissions because less energy and resources are required to create products in the first place. Then, once the item has been disposed of, less raw material is available to create harmful gases.


The planet’s future is in our hands, and by reducing, reusing, and recycling, we stand a real chance of sustaining the environment for many years to come.



Just 100 Companies Responsible for 71% of Global Emissions, Study Says | The Guardian

10 Facts About Single-Use Plastic Bags | Center for Biological Diversity

Ways To Recycle Everything at Home: Glass, Metal & Miscellaneous | WGBH

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