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How to approach responsible consumption


Questions to ask yourself before you buy

Do I really need it?


Do the people who make the product or provide the service have adequate working conditions?


What is the environmental impact of using the product or service?


Is there a more responsible solution?


How can I get the best use out of the product?


Can I share the product or service?


Responsible consumption

Humans produce several millions tonnes of waste every year. An estimated 85% of these residual materials could and should be re-used, recycled, composted or recovered.


There are 4 main ways people can produce less waste—by applying the 4Rs.


1. Reduce

Minimize the quantity of waste produced, both in number and volume:

  • Opt for sustainable rather than disposable products.
  • Avoid over-packaged products and ones that can't be recycled or composted.
  • Give services or time as a gift instead of stuff.

2. Recycle

Use a product that already exists to make a new product.


3. Re-use

  • Use something in a new way—either by using a product that was no longer of use to someone else or finding a new use for an existing object so it doesn't go to waste.
  • Buy used items.
  • Borrow and loan items.

4. Recover

Recovery refers to composting and energy recovery. Energy recovery maximizes the added value of a product through sound residual materials management. The process of incinerating household waste to produce heat is one example.