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Refuse, Repair, Reuse and Recycle: The 4Rs of Waste Management

20 July 2021

I was startled by a news broadcast that a huge humpback whale was caught near the beach already dead and veterinary experts found plastic bags inside the whale’s belly. Although I was completely shocked by this information, it is no longer an uncommon situation especially these days that waste management is a perennial problem in many parts of the world. 

These days, toxic wastes such as electronic wastes and hospital wastes are putting people in danger especially that we are still under life-threatening situations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Dumped face masks, face shields, used PPE’s can be seen scattered in some places carelessly thrown out without considering the peril it may cause to the people and to the environment as well.

Recently, Europe has been ravaged by cyclones and heavy rains that inundated some countries such as Germany, Austria, and some parts of the Netherlands that climbed lives and limbs. It is heartbreaking to see people helpless in these situations and dying instantly due to flash floods. Climate change, global warming has been reported to be the cause of these intense weather disturbances that are inevitable and scary.

As abrupt weather changes and intense conditions continuously wreak havoc to the world's population and to the environment, it is also indicated that humans have greatly contributed to these erratic weather conditions that we are experiencing all over the world.  

So, it is not too late for us to contribute something positive to help nature and our environment and help them prevent more serious weather changes that may cost thousands of lives and destroy our environment in the near future. Humans, animals, and plants will be adversely affected if we do not act now. 

We can help in our small way by considering the application of the 4Rs of waste management that is, refuse, repair, reuse and recycle in managing our domestic wastes as an initiative towards smart and fruitful disposal of our trash and garbage at home.

Refuse is exercising our right to reject products that we know will cause garbage to increase mounds of garbage and wastes in the landfill. For example, food wastes which 20-25% percent are related to food packaging. Plastic and cardboard packaging come in different sizes such that some of them are not recyclable causing water and land pollution.  

Refusing to buy these products will lessen the volume of garbage dumped in the landfill and will also reduce risks not only for us, the animals, plants but also for marine life. We often buy food products such as in convenience stores or fast-food chains and we can reduce waste out of buying from these places by using our own cups or reducing the frequency of buying from them.

If we cannot do it, we can dispose of the packaging and recycle those that can be transformed into something such as eco-bags, plastic decors, or even construction of a house with plastic mineral bottles. This is already practicing recycling. We can hear about some news on recycling that are really smart ideas such as constructing classrooms using the plastic bottles or using them to make a small boat with the plastic’s buoyancy property. There are a lot of ways to reuse and recycle some waste products from food packages and the like.

There are some people who also make some garbage products into decorations such as BRIC-a-bracs and even Christmas trees and Christmas decorations. It is just a matter of determination and creativity to make these things happen for the betterment of the world we live in.

Repairing old electronic gadgets, computers are getting to be popular these days. We can see ads on social media that offer services to repair old computers or laptops so that they can be used and be in working conditions again. The good thing about repairing old products is that it will cost you less than buying a new one and of course, you also make our environment better by reducing the waste products for disposal. 

Electronic wastes pose more problems these days that some countries dump toxic wastes through these electronic devices inadvertently posing risks to everyone, people, animals, and plants, among others. When we try to make old things workable through repair, we can help reduce catastrophic weather disturbances around the world.

In my case, I seldom buy clothes these days to save money and reuse them to reduce wastes at home and to practice minimalism that is very advantageous even for reducing stress and tension.

If I cannot reuse them I donate some of my old clothes to a charitable organization so that people who are needy can use them. It is a self-fulfilling gesture to give away extra clothes and other things you might not need anymore.

Old furniture, kitchen utensils, toys, and other things in the house that are not needed anymore can be given away or donated for less fortunate people. Just remember that “no man is an island.” We are a part of a bigger stage in life and we have the responsibility to take care or to help others when it is needed and necessary.

In short, the 4Rs of waste management is one effective tool to practice these days as we are besieged with environmental problems and catastrophic weather disturbances happening all over the world. We have the responsibility to do our share. Let’s do it!

While you are pondering on how you would be an advocate of a waste management program, you can have one perfect product from Flexispot to complete and realize that goal. This company has a unique product called Height Adjustable Whiteboard Standing Desk.

It has wonderful features tailored-fit to plan out and write your ideas about waste management or make a presentation to a group of people who have similar advocacy. The standing desk also has a dry-erase desktop that is easily cleaned with a dry cloth or eraser.

You can also flip the desktop to make it a more functional whiteboard using the adjustable handle to change it into five (5) angles according to your presentation needs. The advanced all-in-one keypad allows you to save three (3) programmable presents of seating or standing postures. It is also stackable in its design and has an anti-collision function. Have one now!