1. refuse - if you don’t need it, refuse it. say no to flyers, plastic bags, straws, plastic cutlery etc. invest in a reusable water bottle, slow down and eat in to avoid takeaway containers, make your daily tea or coffee at home and take bags with you when you go shopping
2. reduce - can you cut down on how much you are using? buy food in bulk, eat less meat, don’t buy clothes just because they’re on sale. finding lots of little ways to reduce what you are consuming can have a big impact
3. reuse - can you reuse the product or parts of the product for another purpose? reuse empty glass jars to store food or turn old clothes into cleaning rags
4. repair - if it’s broken try and fix it before you throw it away and buy a new one
5. rot - if you can’t reuse or repair something made of natural materials, compost it. don’t send it to landfill because it can’t decompose buried under other rubbish, the greenhouse gases will just collect
6. recycle - send materials like cardboard and glass off to be chemically repurposed into new products. this process is resource intensive so it is best to reduce your recycling as much as possible, but recycling is always better than sending things to landfill.
7. rethink - if you can’t do any of the above then it’s time to rethink whether you actually need the product. find sustainable alternatives