7 R’s Of Waste Management – Steps To Sustainability

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We all are consumers! What we purchase and how we dispose waste can harm the environment. A big of saving the environment is choosing the kind of consumer we are going to be. People concerned about the environment think about the environmental impact of what they purchase and whether they need to buy at all.

3R’s: Reduce; Reuse and Recycle have been in the flow for a long time. In more recent years, they have expanded to become the 7R’s. Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle and Rot! All these 7 concepts are focused on minimizing the waste and taking steps towards sustainability work your way through all of them and you will be well on your way to saving the environment and living a zero-waste life.

What we purchase and how we dispose waste can harm the environment.
Picture Credit: Geosgroup


Every time, you go for shopping to buy new clothes, or gadgets, think do you really need them? Consider going for a second-hand product. This way you will save resources and things from the trash pile.

Instead of buying things from a popular international brand, go for local products. This way, you will help to shorten the supply chain, which decreases transportation energy, use of packaging, and at the same time you support the small entrepreneurs.


Refuse is the second element of 7R’s of hierarchy. It can effectively help to minimize waste. Well, refusing waste can take some practice; keep refusing to buy wasteful and non-recyclable products. Making smarter purchasing decisions and setting some standards will make it easier to refuse waste in the first place.


Try to reduce the use of harmful, wasteful, and non-recyclable products. When you reduce dependency on these kinds of products, it leads to less waste material ending up in a landfill. Always use the minimum amount required to avoid unnecessary waste.

When you reduce the amount of a consumable that you use will in turn reduce the amount of packaging that you are throwing away. Not all packaging is recyclable, so you need to think smartly.


Finding another use for an item is one way of not needing to dispose that item and have it end in a landfill. There are some products that cannot be refused, reduced, or reused, you can try repurposing them. It needs some creativity, but the possibilities are endless.

You can use old newspapers and other papers for arts and crafts, glass jars for holding food or planting new seeds, coffee mug for holding pens.


In today’s market, single-use plastics have introduced a throw-away culture; it has normalized the consumer behavior of using materials once and then throwing them away. Today, the amount of plastics we consume is unimaginable. Also, the plastic crisis has become one of the major environmental challenges. Instead of buying any items, reuse things that you already have.

You can start by replacing all of the single-use eating utensils, water bottles, Styrofoam cups, and paper plates with compostable or reusable alternatives.


Even if you dispose off your waste correctly, you never know where it will end up, so recycle where you can, even before generating the waste.

In comparison to making a new plastic product, recycling uses less water, fossil fuel, and resource extraction. Keep in mind, plastic can only be down-cycled.


Take advantage of the natural decomposition process of nature to manage organic resources like food, tree limbs, scraps, etc. When such materials decompose in a controlled environment they convert into compost, a quality soil amendment that can improve gardens and the quality of the soil. Compost is called black gold as it helps plants retain moisture and gives them beneficial nutrients. Follow these 7 R’s in your daily life and see- how every action you take towards a more sustainable life is helping out the planet. There are many waste management solutions to streamline the process; here are four applications that are spearheading changes in waste management:

  • Pom Pom Trash to Cash: You can sell anything through this remotely recyclable app and set a price per kg for it. You just need to set up a request, and a team from Pom Pom will come to collect it. They send off the waste to industries that collect such waste to recycle and reuse.
  • Sellixo: With Sellixo, you can sell your dry waste like paper, plastic, or metal and get paid for it. This was coded by a group of five 14-year-old girls that won them Rs 6.4 lakhs at the Technovation Challenge that year.
  • Ecolekt: Ecolekt can help you when you do not know what you want to do with your old laptops or phones. A Bangalore-based company Jogiv launched this app with an aim to manage the rising e-waste problem in the city.
  • Encashea: Founded in 2015, Encashea is based in Bangalore. Under the app, the team ties up with vendors who buy scrap, and list the prices on the app. They have a free doorstep service in the selected areas of Bangalore. You need to pre-book the service and choose a time from the available slots.


Companies like Shuddh Sustainable Solutions and Saahas Zero Waste Solutions are coming forward to bring a positive change in the environment by offering holistic waste management solutions. It is high time for people to rationally decide what to buy and what to choose to contribute their bit to the environment.

Annie Leonard has rightly said, “There is no such thing as away, when we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.

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