Rethinking the 3 R’s

 In Market News

Many of us grew up reciting the 3 R’s in the classroom, that is, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. However, as we have become more aware of our impact on the Earth that model has transformed into a waste hierarchy of 5 R’s to consider before considering disposing of an item into the landfill. (image retrieved from: https://www.nawma.sa.gov.au/education-partnerships/waste-hierarchy/)

Waste Hierarchy Pyramid:

Reduce – This is the best approach, reduce the amount of stuff you buy in the first place so that fewer things need to be recycled or taken to the landfill. Tip: Say no to single-use plastic.

Reuse – Whether it is you finding another use for an item you no longer need, or buying/giving from thrift stores, reusing an item is the next best approach. Tip: Check out the thrift store for that trendy top instead of resorting to fast fashion.

Repair – Instead of automatically throwing something in the recycling or garbage when it breaks, try repairing it first. Tip: You can also try taking it to a repair shop and have a trained professional help.

Recycle – This is level 4 on the hierarchy, as you can see Recycling has been pushed further down the list. Recycling of an item allows new items to be produced from the waste, though this is costly and doesn’t always result in a quality product. Tip: try to reduce, reuse, and repair to avoid the number of things needing to be recycled.

Recovery-  The final R in our hierarchy; this refers to taking the waste and transforming it into energy through processes such as incineration and landfill gas recovery. However, once this energy is used then it can’t be used again, and that is why it is so low on the hierarchy. Tip: since this R is out of your control as a consumer focus on Reduce, Reuse, Repair, and Recycle.

Dispose – The last place we want our waste to end up is in the landfill; not only is waste management very expensive for municipalities, but we are also running out of room in landfills (also, landfills can be harmful to the environment!). Tip: Reduce, Reuse, Repair, and Recycle!)

On Sunday, September 15 our POP Club kids will be learning about reducing waste and doing an activity called Green Bin, Blue Bin, Black Bin. Learn more about the POP Club here and visit us at the market to register.

The POP Club is a farmer’s market-based kids program. Children (ages 5 – 12 years old) will learn about fruits and vegetables, local food systems and healthy food preparation through fun activities all season long.

Each week children will earn a $3 market token to use towards any fruit or vegetable of their choice. There is no cost to participate and the program runs every Sunday rain or shine!

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