Refuse and Replace
Perfecting the Art of Recycling
Becoming more eco-conscious starts by practising the 3 Golden Rs. But to do this, we need to understand what each of these Rs represent and how we can actually put them into practice. Previously, we discussed the how we can reduce, reuse and recycle our waste. In this article we will take a look at a couple of more, perhaps less common (but equally useful) Rs.
Easily disposable items of low-quality are cheap and we buy them because we didn’t have to spend a lot of money. But cheap things are inexpensive for a reason. To cut the costs, they were produced using chemicals and materials from questionable sourcing, which means very often they leech toxins! In the long run, those low-quality items will cost you even more than buying a good quality one, since most are made to break easily – so you’ll need to buy a new one to replace it anyway!
Refusing will eliminate the bulk of your waste, so it’s good to learn to say no! So, say no to products wrapped in plastic, freebies and bargains and disposables! The more we accept all those things that will inevitably end up in landfills, the more demand we generate for those unsustainable things.
• Whenever possible, try shopping at the farmer’s market or at small local stores. Buying in big supermarkets usually means more packaging, even in the produce section.
• Take out your phone and take pictures of pamphlets or business cards. Accept the information, but not the physical item! This way, you have all the crucial information on you at all times.
• When it comes to freebies companies give away, if you’re going to use that pen or reusable grocery bag, by all means take it. But if it’ll end up in the bin eventually, just say no thanks!
• Say no to plastic grocery bags, especially if you only have a couple of items that you could easily carry.
• Refuse to buy harmful products, like cleaners. Buy more eco-friendly options or make your own.
Replacing is all about adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle as opposed to a less-sustainable one. Habit is a powerful tool in our daily life. Most of the things we do in our daily life are a matter of habits, and we practise them because they’ve been ingrained into us from an early age.

And while changing these habits can be a challenging task for anyone, it’s still necessary for a better world. So why not start by replacing the following items with non-disposable ones?
  • Disposable razors – electric shaver, straight-edge razor, double-blade razor
  • Paper towels – microfibre or cotton cloths
  • Paper napkins – cloth napkins (or handkerchiefs)
  • Baking parchment – grease the cake pan/ silicon mat
  • Tin foil/ cling film – put it in a food container or jar, or wrap it in a dish towel
  • Paper bags/ plastic bags – bring your own cloth/ tote bag
  • Disposable lunch bags – stainless steel food containers, mason jars, dish towels
  • Bottled water – a good quality glass or stainless-steel bottle (preferably plastic-free or at least BPA-free)
  • Muffin paper liners – grease your muffin tray
Here at GreenPak, we understand that being environmentally-friendly is something that people might find challenging. That said, with gradual, incremental lifestyle changes, we can be successful at becoming more eco-conscious, which is one step closer to helping save the environment!
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