You’ve likely heard the saying “reduce, reuse, recycle”, but did you know there’s even more you can do to help combat the consumption and waste problem we face globally?

To effectively combat the effects of consumption and waste, learn how to practice the 7 R’s of waste management!

Fast Facts about Consumption & Waste

Around the Globe…

  • Humans produce millions of tons of municipal solid waste every year.
  • There is expected to be a roughly 70% increase in waste (to 3.4 billion metric tons) by the year 2050.
  • The most common type of waste is food.
  • Plastic makes up 12% of global waste.

In the United States…

  • 12% of global municipal waste is generated in the US, despite being home to just 4.25% of the world’s population.
  • It is estimated that 30-40% of the country’s total food supply is wasted.
  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.

What are the 7 R’s of Waste Management?

1. Rethink

Become a more conscious consumer. Take a step back to think about your consumption & waste habits and their impacts on the environment.

2. Refuse

Say “no” to products you don’t need or won’t use. Before purchasing things, consider the benefits and costs. Feel empowered to go against consumer culture and not buy anything at all.

3. Reduce

Lower the amount you buy & how often you buy. Borrow things when you can. Look for items that last longer and have many uses.

4. Reuse

Upcycle items you would typically throw away. Get many uses out of the things you buy. Avoid single-use items, especially those made of plastic. Get creative using what you already own!

5. Repair

Learn how to repair everyday items instead of buying new ones. Try to fix things before throwing them out. Get crafty and join the “Repair Movement“.

6. Regift

Share in the wealth and pass on a gift you’ve received, but won’t necessarily use, to someone else who could use it.

7. Recycle

Give your products a new purpose by recycling them. Learn to properly sort recycling and garbage. Look for items made of recycled goods when shopping.

Information from National Wildlife Federation, Winnipeg Public Library, & Statista.