The 7R's (actually many more) of Recycling

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Ywen Craobh
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The 7R's (actually many more) of Recycling

Post by Ywen Craobh » 06 May 2019, 04:28

We used to teach Permaculture and always gave people a handout about what used to be 3 R's and then 6, but now there are many more...
I wanted to share this to open up conversation about ways of dealing with "stuff".
Our biggest problem is plastic wrappings that come on food, or on mail...still, we only go to the landfill (no garbage service) with a car-load full garbage, recyclables etc. about five times a year. And we have a small car...

My favorite R's are Refuse (like, just don't buy it, I don't need it), Repair-fix broken things, wire them back together, take them apart and make a replacement part..., Rethink (think outside the box about things you need, or don't need, and why you need them...) and Respect...respect the raw materials and labor that went into creating that object in the first place, and even the people that may have been exploited to get that product to you cheaply, the land that was moved to mine the minerals etc...

There is also a really good meditation for objects here: https://www.druidry.org/events-projects ... tice-green

What's your favorite R?

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Re: The 7R's (actually many more) of Recycling

Post by Corbiniane » 06 May 2019, 09:24

Around here, there's a very noticable correlation between the level of education and the interest in those Rs. Highly educated people rather buy organic undyed wool-silk onsies at a local bazaar.... while people of lower education buy at the discounter or fast fashion places ...and not even cheap, you know, but for the same amount of money. Have you noticed this too?
Last year I asked around our kindergarten whether we might not swap rubber boots (wellies) and rainproofs (having to buy two sets in every size - one for home, one for kindergarten - and then having them get little actual wear) and I found two out of about 40 parents interested.
I see this even with my husband, who is from a poor working class background. Last week he got all agitated when our boy (5 years) showed up wearing a pair of sweatpants with a huge hole in one knee (material had gone from sightly thinning to huge big hole too big to patch overnight). Now... I didn't even give this second thought, because, boy? Shouldn't he have holes in his pants? Shows he's not spending all his time in front of a tv? But my husband wouldn't have it, hole in pants spells what is called "assi" in German (from anti-social, in this context meaning very common, trashy, vulgar) for him. He's very touchy like that, and I guess it's a similar mechanism that makes people from poorer background more (self-) conscious about obviously patched up stuff. Well, I know this sounds strange, but I experience this again and again.
Saturday I got a new laundry rack... my old one by now lost three of its bars and another three are held up by zip ties, well it still worked, so I didn't actually want to replace it, but then our janitor showed up with a new laundry rack in tow, saying we could have it as his wife didn't like the colour anymore....!.....!.....! points for them, they didn't chuck it out but asked around whether someone wanted it, but....
***always edited for autocorrects and poorly chosen words***

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Re: The 7R's (actually many more) of Recycling

Post by Wanderer » 06 May 2019, 10:44

I see this even with my husband, who is from a poor working class background. Last week he got all agitated when our boy (5 years) showed up wearing a pair of sweatpants with a huge hole in one knee (material had gone from sightly thinning to huge big hole too big to patch overnight). Now... I didn't even give this second thought, because, boy? Shouldn't he have holes in his pants? Shows he's not spending all his time in front of a tv? But my husband wouldn't have it, hole in pants spells what is called "assi" in German (from anti-social, in this context meaning very common, trashy, vulgar) for him. He's very touchy like that, and I guess it's a similar mechanism that makes people from poorer background more (self-) conscious about obviously patched up stuff. Well, I know this sounds strange, but I experience this again and again.
That is a very interesting observation, but I guess it makes sense if you think about it... Things like this have a lot to do with what we derive our sense of personal value and identity from... For the more educated, that sense of wealth comes more from what we have learned, the 'wealth' we have built that way. That is something that cannot be taken away, no matter what your outward appearance is. Making it a lot easier not to care about looks so much... (even the opposite, looking somewhat shabby may even be a means of showing off how 'evolved' you are...) But if you've felt second-rate all your life because of poverty, then it is only natural to go for the shiny new things, as it will help to disguise your background.

All of this just shows just how much our society needs to move away from its obsession with 'stuff', away from the tv commercials that continue to indoctrinate us into believing that the way towards belonging and feeling happy is owning more stuff. Make everyone richer by making it normal again to share things. Where my sister lives, they have a 'toy library'. Isn't that cool? It is way cheaper for everyone, and now nobody has to worry anymore that their kids will not have access to the 'cool' stuff. And it teaches kids from childhood onwards not to get too attached to actually owning things.
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Re: The 7R's (actually many more) of Recycling

Post by Runefang » 06 May 2019, 23:18

I can’t understand why we in the good old UK no longer have deposit-paid bottles for pop or beer etc. They are just “recycled “ which doesn’t mean anything really when you look into it. Bottle banks are just a way of placating the urge to do something useful towards saving the planet but the glass if contaminated with different colours is pretty useless as I understand it. We are not so much drinking at the fountain of ecological soundness as gargling. :-(
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