The Three Rs saves money and energy and reduces landfill.
In a Flash
The 3 'R's
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – these three 'R' words are an important part of sustainable living, as they help to cut down on the amount of waste we have to throw away.
It's Really simple!
- Reduce the amount of waste you produce.
- Reuse items as much as you can before replacing them.
- Recycle items wherever possible.
Using the 3 'R's also helps to minimise the amount of space needed for landfill sites, where waste materials are disposed of.
Water is a precious resource. How can you use less of it?
R1: How can I reduce the amount of waste I produce?
The first 'R' is all about creating less waste. Here are some of the ways you can do this:
- Only buy what you need
- Choose products with less packaging
- Buy in bulk
- Look for items that you can re-use
Reducing the amount of waste we all generate is a great way to benefit the environment.
R2: How can I reuse what I have?
The second 'R' looks at how you can use certain items again (ideally multiple times) before replacing them. Here are some ideas:
- Refill a water bottle with water from home instead of buying a new one
- Update your computer rather than throwing it out and getting a replacement
- Ditch plastic bags and choose reusable, environmentally-friendly bags instead
A bonus of reusing? As well as helping the environment, you could save money too!
Recycling uses old products in new ways.
R3: How can I recycle the products I use?
The third 'R' is about making sure you separate items that can be recycled, meaning they can be used for a new purpose.
Materials that can be recycled include:
- Lead batteries
Before you throw something away, think about whether all or part of it could be recycled. For example, did you know the components of your old computer can be recycled to make new components?
Are there any more 'R's?
Sometimes, two more 'R's can be added to the three basic ones.
- Rethink can be added to the start of the list. It means we should think about the way our actions impact the environment.
- Recover is sometimes added to the end of the list. It refers to the act of putting waste products to use. For example, decomposing garbage produces methane gas, which can be recovered and burnt to produce energy.
What Do You Mean?
Reduce means to minimise the amount of waste we create.
Reuse refers to using items more than once.
Recycle means putting a product to a new use instead of throwing it away.
Rethink is about considering how our actions affect the environment.
Recover refers to the practice of putting waste products to use.
Landfill is a site where waste materials are disposed of.
On average, every person in Australia generates more than 2000kg of rubbish each a year!
The energy saved by recycling one plastic drink bottle is enough to power a computer for 25 minutes.
For every tonne of paper that is recycled, 13 trees are saved.
The 3 'R's – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – are all about minimising the amount of waste we produce, reusing products as much as we can, and remembering to recycle any materials that can be used for a new purpose.
Take this to the classroom!
Curriculum ready content.