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The Fourth R
Posted on 09/30/2014 | 0 Comments

The Fourth R

You may be familiar with the three Rs of waste management: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

You are likely aware that you can reduce your carbon footprint by shopping carefully to avoid disposable products.

You know that recycling is what happens when you separate your paper from your plastic and send it off to recycling center where the material is broken down to be turned into something new.

And, reusing occurs when you opt to bring a reusable mug to the coffee shop, line trashcans with grocery store bags, and, as the word implies, make an effort to reuse products for the same or different purposes.

But we'd like to talk about the fourth R: Repurpose.  

Unlike reducing, reusing, and recycling, the end goal of repurposing isn't exclusively about elimination; it's about creation. Repurposing is the art of taking old materials and giving them new lifeā€”at times, giving them a purpose vastly different from their original use.

With some creative thinking, there are virtually no restrictions to repurposing. When you recycle, the materials end up in one of a few places: plastic may become construction material; paper is recycled into more paper. But when you make an effort to repurpose, you can turn a ladder into a bookshelf, take an old chair and make more beautiful than when it was new, or even create art from used textiles.

This isn't to say that the other three Rs aren't worth following. Rather, we'd simply like to submit this fourth R for your consideration. And if you need inspiration, ArtfullyReimagined is filled with used materials just waiting for the right person to come along and repurpose them into something great.


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