I connected to the ‘R’ when working on the development of one of the first Resource Recovery Centres in Australia toward the end of the nineties. The ’R’ resonated with many aspects of what we were trying to achieve and provided focus using just one letter of the alphabet.
Sustainability is connected to many other letters and themes, however, for the sake of connection, the ‘R words’ relevant to the philosophy of zeRRRo are expanded upon below.
In a (first) world where the propensity is to ‘con’, we have a choice to refuse. We are bombarded with messages to consume, consume, consume without a thought for the consequences. If we stop to think, we can rationalise whether we decide to go with the flow or otherwise.
Relative to refuse is the opportunity to reduce. Indeed, if we are living in a resource constrained world, it is beholden upon us ALL to reduce consumption and waste to ensure that future generations can exist without conflict – what sustainability is all about.
We ‘offshore’ way too much these days, including skills that were second nature to older generations (yes, I sound like an old fart…). My shed is full or junk that comes in handy for repair and re-use projects. We don’t all need a shed however, but we can take advantage of the dwindling skills that are necessary to keep products in the active cycle through Men’s Sheds, reuse and repair centres, and activities like Repair Café and Bright Sparks that have been set up to harness and perpetuate ‘repair’ skills.
Next time something breaks, don’t just bin it, make the effort to seek out repair options.
Recycling is way down the (waste) hierarchy and is a product of consumerism and single use packaging in the main. It is like a drug, we are now hooked on it so should wean ourselves as efficiently as possible. In the meantime however, it is mostly more efficient to recycle as opposed to dump.
Think before you throw! Can it be reused (maybe repaired first) by someone that has a need? There are plenty of avenues to facilitate reuse through the Sharing Economy.
You would think that given the exponential rate of development and ‘civilisation’, we would have the design part right? Our system is still based on an undervalued resources industry that is being used up like there is no tomorrow
It will not be long before landfill mining is the norm – recovering resources that were unwittingly thrown away. Many resources are more easy to recover as opposed to mine. An Above Ground Mining boom is perhaps smarter move than (unsustainably) mining virgin resources. A massive economy exists in recovering resources that lay idle.
Hopefully a new understating of the other ‘R’s will encourage us to change our thinking on design and resource use.
The contemporary buzz (in environmental terms) is ‘climate change’, when one thinks of the prime reason for this phenomenon, one can’t help but conclude that it is strongly connected to consumption. With an ever increasing population and a desire for the global population to achieve ‘first world’ living conditions, an inevitable consequence is consumption on the j-curve. Consumption based on the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter can be sustainable. Consumption based on ‘wants’ will inevitably result in a depletion of resources at unsustainable levels – and conflict.
Through our increasingly disconnected (with nature) world, many have lost the understanding and connection to nature and our environment.
Like the sustainability movement of the last century, the new Circular Economy is the buzz – whatever it takes! 'Circularity' is about transitioning from a linear world into an holistic and connected existence for a better future.
Why the R's?
environmental and resource management
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