The 3Rs are categories at the top of our disposal options. They include a variety of initiatives for disposing of discards. Generally, options lowest on the list are least desirable.
Reduce - to buy less and use less. Incorporates common sense ideas like turning off the lights, rain barrels, and taking shorter showers, but also plays a part in Composting/Grasscycling (transportation energy is reduced), low-flow toilets, and programmable thermostats. Includes the terms Re-think, Precycle, Carpool, Efficient, and Environmental Footprint.
Reuse - elements of the discarded item are used again. Initiatives include Hand-Me-Downs, Garage Sales, Quilting, Travel Mugs, and Composting (nutrients). Includes the terms Laundry, Repair, Regift, and Upcycle.
Recycle - discards are separated into materials that may be incorporated into new products. This is different from Reuse in that energy is used to change the physical properties of the material. Initiatives include Composting, Beverage Container Deposits and buying products with a high content of post-consumer material.
Generate - capturing useful material for waste to energy programs. Includes Methane Collection, Gasification and Digestion, and the term Recover.
Incinerate - high temperature destruction of material. Differs from Gasification in that oxygen is used; differs from burning in that high temperatures consume material efficiently and emissions are controlled.
Devastate - to discard into the natural environment, or to "trash" the planet. Includes Litter, Burn Barrels, Unnecessary Vehicle Idling, and Dumping discards onto land or into water.
Incentives for 3R
The 3Râ€™s of reduce, reuse and recycle have been considered to be a cornerstone of ecological awareness and a way or promoting environmental balance through conscious behaviour and choices. It is generally accepted that these patterns of behaviour and consumer choices will lead to savings in materials and energy which will benefit the...