WebStamp May 30, 2018

The 5Rs For Sustainable Living

In the search for the good life, consumerism was created to provide an abundance of items to make life easier. This has caused a residual effect of an overabundance of things that are quickly discarded when they fail or are out of fashion and are replaced with new ones. To make life more convenient we even make many single-use disposable items. Recycling was developed to help manage the exuberant amount of waste generated by chasing the good life.

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To live sustainably society must alter its consumption habits. To preserve the planet for future generations we need to live producing zero-waste. Following the 5Rs for ecological living, Refuse-Reduce-Reuse-Repurpose-Recycle can help society to live cleanly.  Many benefits to society can be generated cleaning up our lifestyles. There will be jobs created, possibly in second-hand stores, ecological packaging and disposables, repair facilities, and many more in recycling. All these local jobs encourage additional local spending boosting the local economy.

REFUSE: Refuse to be part of wasteful consumerism. Refuse to buy items with packaging, or at least non-ecofriendly packaging. Most package friendly items are usually local. Don’t buy items you don’t need, even if they are a great bargain, you don’t need that junk you will never use.

REDUCE: Not buying cheap junk also helps with reducing. Buying less means you have less to discard. Clearing out the many items you never use can be giving or sold to others to use, instead of them buying new which adds to the problem.

REUSE: Instead of throwing out items when finished with them, one could give it to a needy friend, resell, or even donate it to help someone less fortunate. Even if its broken it most likely could be repaired at usually a lower cost than new to be used again.

REPURPOSE: When something is beyond reusing, it could possibly be converted into something else. We could take old pieces of tiles, glass, and even plastic and create a unique mosaic for a tabletop or wall hanging. Your old ladder can become a leaning bookshelf, or that old shower curtain makes a great drop-sheet when painting.

RECYCLE: Many components used in today’s goods and packaging can be remanufactured at less cost than using new resources. Society needs to elevate recycling to the stage where we don’t generate unnecessary excessive waste and pollution. Many items that can be recycled are ending up in landfills.

Join the M.A.D. Movement for sustainable living by following the 5Rs for a pollution free environment to live in. Follow, in-order, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and when you can’t do any of these - Recycle. The cost of consumerism should also include handling the by-products left behind after we have finished with our items. Disposable items should be assessed with an environmental tax or deposit similar to our bottle recycling program to encourage keeping our environment clean for all of us.

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Marinus (René) Verschuren
Marinus (René) Verschuren
Founder of WebStamp
René has been involved in the publishing and printing industry since the 1970s. He has published and distributed a successful 24-page weekly news advertiser with a circulation of 4400 copies. Also for the last 20 years, he has been a printer, plotter, scanner and 3D printer technician and installer. Since High School, he also has worked as a janitor, cabinet maker, building construction, landscaper/designer, computer operator producing microfiche, graphic artist, and webmaster, among many other professions. This qualifies him as a Jack-of-All-Trades with plenty of knowledge in many subjects.
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