by Carly Foubert, CFICE Communications RA

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month! December 1st is here! For today, I want to start with the basics and take a look at the legendary 3R’s, and I don’t mean reading, writing, and arithmetic. *Laugh*

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

These are some of the basic fundamentals of going green and act as a great motto to live by. So for the next 31 days we’re going to live by it and you should too! (We know we can’t technically tell you what to do, but it’s worth a try.)

For today (and the next 31 days) we challenge you to make the conscious effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

December 1 environmental sustainability tip: revisit the 3R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!


A key part in reducing waste is using resources wisely. This might mean not being excessive in what you use, like the amount of toothpaste you need, or using less of it. Everything in moderation, right?

Throughout the day, try asking yourself what ‘enough’ means with respect to your resource consumption. Then figure out how you can reduce your consumption to meet your ‘enough’ level. For example, if you have 3 TVs in the house, perhaps enough means only having one on at a time. Maybe you don’t need the tap to run while you’re brushing your teeth. Perhaps it means carpooling to work or taking public transportation to reduce gas emissions. Whatever it is, try to identify what ‘enough’ is to you, and reduce your consumption accordingly.


Recycling symbol in the shape of a green heart.Reduce waste by reusing! Whether that means using whatever it is again for the same purpose or repurposing it, reusing resources can dramatically decrease the amount of waste you produce. Even after you’re done reusing something, maybe someone else can use it too. Donate gently used clothing and appliances to second-hand stores instead of throwing them away. As the old adage goes: One person’s trash may be another person’s treasure.


If you can’t reduce the amount of trash you create and you can’t reuse it either, at least recycle it. Don’t toss that cereal box in the trash can! Instead, break it down and put it in the recycling bin where it belongs. Same goes for plastic water bottles, jars, and soup cans.

Fun (depressing?) Fact: In the UK only ⅓ of plastic is recycled each year. It’s hypothesised that this is due to consumers’ uncertainty as to what is actually recyclable.

My message to you is, if you don’t know what can or cannot be recycled, don’t remain ignorant. Instead, be proactive and check on your city’s website to find out more about what items can go in the recycling. In Ottawa, they outline how to separate your recyclables by bin: Blue bin & Black bin.

Now, it’s time for you to get going on the 3 R’s. Don’t forget to check in tomorrow for your next tip of the day!