The 8 R’s of Sustainability
The 8 R’s of Sustainability

What are the 8 R’s of sustainability? They represent a way of living a more sustainable lifestyle by rethinking, refusing, reusing, reducing, repairing, repurposing, recycling, and composting. We’ll explain exactly what we mean by each of these.

The 8 R’s of Sustainability


  • Rethinking is where it all begins, first you must imagine how you’re going to cut back on your daily waste, pollution, and clutter. It helps to start off small and tackle the most obvious disposable items that have an easy eco-friendly alternative. (i.e., coffee cups, plastic containers, etc.).


  • Then you have to take a hard line and refuse to buy things you don’t need. This takes a lot of mental fortitude, but it’s worth it in terms of the money you’ll save and the positive environmental impact.


  • We’ve developed a bad habit of using things a few times, then throwing them in the garbage. Most of our everyday items like clothing, furniture, and even cars probably have a lot more mileage left than we think. Consider using and reusing items to their fullest before shopping for replacements.


  • You can reduce your consumption by being mindful of spending and only purchasing the quantities that you know you will consume immediately or in the near future. This is vital as we experience supply shortages while also experiencing an increase in waste and pollution. This covers everything from food, household items, gasoline, fast fashion, beauty and wellness products, and much more.


  • Do you usually get rid of items when they’re broken or do you try and fix them, such as a pair of jeans? As a society we have shifted from a “fix it” mindset to a “toss it” mindset, and it’s time we shifted back. We can limit the volume of materials heading to a landfill by repairing them rather than constantly repurchasing. Put your Bob the Builder hard hat on and ask yourself, can we fix it? Yes, we can!


  • Repurposing items is a big game changer as well. Do you need a vase for your flowers? Well, if there are several coffee mugs in your cabinet, maybe one of those would do the job. There are a million examples of ways to take unwanted items and repurpose them. Follow us on Pinterest for more examples @wastenotrefilleryfl.


  • Electronics, wood, sheet metal, old carpet, and so many other items are eligible for recycling. Plus, there are many recycling centers that will PAY you a small sum for them. Why throw everything into a dumpster when you can recycle them for money? Also, check out TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling hard to recycle materials. They offer several FREE programs you can participate in!


  • Rotting is another term for composting, which is a key component in the Zero Waste paradigm. Since it’s a shame to waste so much organic material (⅓ of what people chunk into trash cans), rotting helps you make further use of them. This strategy lets you take things like eggshells, banana peels, and coffee grinds and turn them into nourishing soil for your garden or potted plants.

Now that you know more about the 8 R’s of sustainability, you can apply them. Don’t let the long list intimidate you. Start off small and gradually incorporate these ideas. After a while, you’ll notice a significant decline in the garbage you produce and in the waste you produce.

Waste Not Refillery is a mobile eco-market and refillery, servicing the Greater Tampa Bay Area. Our goal is to provide convenient access to sustainable, eco-friendly, and zero waste goods, empowering you to cultivate an eco-positive lifestyle. Our refillery is one of a kind, so bring your own container and check us out!

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