How to become eco-friendly: the “five R’s” rule

How to become eco-friendly: the "five R's" rule

Have you ever thought about the path that each used item takes? Over the last 100 years, the amount of waste on earth has increased by almost 10,000%. So it’s a good time to also think about how we can help our planet not drown in oceans of rubbish.

Luckily, in recent years, the eco-trend has been more pervasive in our daily lives: many organizations and eco-activists have appeared, and there are more eco-friendly goods on shop shelves. But do you still buy plastic bags? Do you still buy paper books?

Nowadays, there are a lot of apps and services that can be used instead of the usual books. Moreover, some online services like WritingAPaper can ease your learning process by writing some school papers for you.

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The writers comply with essays, research papers, presentations, and business plans. For example, if you need to write an essay on how to save the world, you can contact best writing services to find a platform that fits you perfectly. So, let’s get back to our topic. 

Where to begin?

The word eco-friendliness is now a common phrase in everyday conversation, in shops or cafés. It means being friendly to the environment and not harming it. To do this, you should adopt habits that will positively impact the planet.

At first glance, this may seem too complicated, and one person’s contribution is negligible. But, of course, if you look across the globe, it seems that what it’s worth is, for example, giving up the plastic pipe.

But if you consider that about one million disposable cups a day are thrown away in a typical million-strong city, and every person gives up that cup once, that’s one million less.

You have to understand that it’s such a gradual journey. You learn something new every day and try to change your life. For example, you realize that plastic bags are bad because your dog can eat them, or the food you buy comes into contact with plastic and then becomes bad for you. So you look for alternatives, and there are some bags. And so you’ve already taken one big step.

Different factors influence different people as to why they become more eco-friendly. For example, who cares about their health and their children, the economy, and future generations? Who thinks it’s trendy and follows the trend too?

The rule of the five R’s

How to become eco-friendly: the "five R's" rule

Eco-activists have the rule of the five “R’s” – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot. This rule can help you succeed in your desire to become eco-friendly. This is the pyramid with the rules of conscious consumption. You refuse excessive consumption, reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost organics.

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Refuse. To begin your eco-friendly journey, you should start by giving up simple things: plastic cups, tubes, receipts, bottles, and disposable tableware. These are things you can do without, and substitutes are available.

Reduce. The culture of consumption applies first and foremost to clothing. If you go through your wardrobe, you will realize that 70 per cent of the things you haven’t worn for a long time are unlikely to wear again.

Reuse. At least try to reuse the same plastic bag. And now there are many organizations where you can give away your old clothes or appliances. Finding a fixture for old things is easy. For example, please don’t throw out your old clothes, but turn them into pet bedding or rags for cleaning the house.

Recycle. It’s the recycling of specifically recycled materials, from old to new, part of the circular economy. Wood, metal, paper, plastic – send all waste that can be given a second life for recycling.

Rot. 40-60% of landfill waste is organic. As the organic waste sits under rubble without access to oxygen, methane forms and causes landfill fires. During fires, plastics and all other waste burns directly in the open air, and smoke, soot parts, and other combustion products are released, including carcinogenic substances.

There’s a tip of the road

If you’ve done something to the detriment of nature, like buying a plastic cup, then donate $10 to an organization that plants trees, protect animals, or does recycling.

What’s to change?

Organic living isn’t cheap. But organic products pay for themselves quickly because they last much longer. So what habits do you need to adopt to become eco-friendlier?


How to become eco-friendly: the "five R's" rule
  • Make two rubbish bins.
    Put everything dry and clean in one, and wet and dirty – i.e. food leftovers – in another. The dirty bucket will fill up sooner. When the bucket with the packaging (dry) fills up, analyze and audit the rubbish. Why does it? You will understand what you have inside.
    For example, if you have a lot of plastic bottles, then maybe it’s time to get your bottle, preferably glass. It will also help to sort out what you are consuming. Recycle your second bucket of raw materials: find a recycling centre near you or take it to a special station; more and more of them are appearing in cities.
  • Buy yourself a glass cup or a food-grade steel cup.
    This will help reduce the waste of paper cups with a layer of polyethylene, which when in contact with water.
  • Replace the bag with a handbag.
    You can find some bags at home or buy one you like. It is better to have several and spread them out in your bags so you can do without a big plastic bag.
  • Don’t drink from plastic tubes. It’s bad for your body. Just don’t buy a straw.


How to become eco-friendly: the "five R's" rule

There’s a sad statistic that 80% of our wardrobe hangs in corners, and 20% we actively use. Because we often buy things on impulse, not fitting together, waiting to lose weight, etc. So there is a lot of waste. How to fix it?

  • Ask yourself before buying if you need it.
    If you consider that it takes 2700 litres of water to make one white T-shirt and that the rivers are polluted if the T-shirts are dyed, then maybe I don’t need a third one that much.
  • Go through the stuff.
    You will realize that you don’t wear most of them. So give them away to relatives or friends or have a clothes swap party. You’re bound to have something for your friend to take.
  • Reuse things.
    If some old clothes aren’t fit to give away either, reuse them. It’s elementary to make clothes for cleaning the house. Some shops accept textiles made from all kinds of fibres. They then send it for recycling and use the resulting materials to make things again.

Personal hygiene

How to become eco-friendly: the "five R's" rule
  • Replace your toothbrush.
    You can replace your toothbrush with a bamboo one, but find responsible options where you know something about the manufacturer. You can also replace your ear sticks with bamboo ones in a carton.
  • Don’t use plastic tubes of toothpaste.
    We have a Ukrainian manufacturer of toothpaste in aluminium tubes or glass jars.
  • Don’t use plastic floss.
    It’s often thrown away in the toilet, gets into the water system, and we drink this water with micro-plastic. Substitutes are available, and you can also use regular floss from silk cloth.
  • Buy shampoo without the packaging.
    Often they have even better formulations than regular ones.


  • Don’t use plastic utensils.
    Tell your boss that it’s unhealthy and that reusable utensils are more economical.
  • Set up environmental initiatives.
    You can swap books or have clothes swapping parties.

These are all small steps towards a clean environment. But if you’ve done any of them or are just starting, you’re already saving the planet.

If everyone changes their habits and actions more responsibly, we will all live with better health and a better environment and leave something behind for future generations.

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