Earth Day 2023: Invest in our Planet & end plastic pollution with the 5 Rs of recycling

Earth Day 2023: Invest in our Planet & end end plastic pollution with the 5 Rs of recycling

Invest in our Planet: Embrace the 5 Rs of recycling on Earth Day

We grew up being taught the three Rs- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. That's where it all began. Fast forward to the present day. Pollution and human-caused climate change are far more devastating problems than we could have predicted. We are in a climate crisis, and three Rs aren’t enough. 

Earth Day 2023 Invest In Our Planet
This post contains some affiliate links and I will be compensated
 if you make a purchase after clicking one of my links.

The theme for Earth Day 2023 is Invest In Our Planet. It highlights the importance of dedicating our time, resources, and energy to solving climate change and other environmental issues. Investing in our planet is necessary to protect it and the best way to pave a path towards a prosperous future. We need large corporate and government action. But each of us can make an impact too with small actions and the 5 Rs.

Earth Day Network recommends adding two additional Rs: Refuse and remove. Just like the evolution of the climate crisis, the rules of recycling have evolved to become: Reduce, Refuse, Reuse, Recycle, and Remove. 

Paws For Reaction Hazel Saint Bernese Earth Day

Recycling rule #1: Reduce

We need to recycle less by reducing our waste, specifically plastic consumption. The belief that it is acceptable to use plastic because we can recycle it is misguided. Many plastics are not recycled in the way we think they will be. As consumers we have full control of the products we purchase, and how they are packaged. No action is too small when it comes to reducing plastic waste. I've changed my consumer habits and these are a few of the waste-reducing products love.

AER Market shampoo & conditioner bars

AER Market shampoo & conditioner bars: I've tried many shampoo and conditioner bars. While it is easy to find a good shampoo bar, conditioner is another story. AER Market has the BEST conditioner bar I've ever used. These bars are cost-effective, often lasting 3x longer than the average bottle of shampoo. AER Market sells a variety of handmade, natural, and eco-friendly bath and body products. PRO TIP: Don't store your bar flat like a bar of soap. It will get soft and break down faster. Stand it up on its side.

Terra20 ecobar Paws For Reaction Ottawa Earth Day

Terra20 ecobar: I LOVE Terra20! So does Hazel! The Terra20 I shop at is dog friendly. I purchase my cleaning products and laundry detergent at Terra20, a Canadian brand of non-toxic home and bath products. The best part: Bring your bottle back to the Terra20 ecobar and refill it. PRO TIP: The ecobar now allows customers to bring their own containers.

Food Huggers Earth Day Paws For Reaction

Food Huggers: Food Huggers reduce waste and help keep your produce fresh for longer, so you can save money and the environment at the same time. And they last! I've been using them for years.

Taylor Swift Midnights Olsenolsen Design Food Wraps Paws For Reaction Earth Day

Olsen Olsen Design Food Wraps: Replace cling wrap! I hate plastic wrap. This Montreal, Quebec brand makes beeswax Food Wraps with flair. These ones are giving me Taylor Swift Midnights vibes!

Recycling rule #2: Refuse

Refusing plastic is a decision we can make. I do it all the time at the grocery store by refusing to purchase products in plastic wrap. I refuse to put my fruit and vegetables in those small clear plastic bags. I shop with my own grocery bags. They can still weigh a bunch of apples on the scale without putting them in the bag. I refuse to use plastic straws, instead, I bring my own stainless steel straws. I bring my own coffee mug and reusable water bottle.

Earth day reusable bag

Do a plastic inventory of your life: Look at all the products you regularly buy. How are they packaged? Could you find a way to purchase the same products without creating plastic waste? Food and drink inventory is a great place to start.

Water Bottle phone case Earth Day

Recycling rule #3: Reuse

We live in a throwaway society. This has helped plastic pollution become an epidemic. Products we purchase have such a brief lifecycle. Sometimes we upgrade something because we want the newest, shiniest version. Many plastics are single-use products. If we can reuse items and buy used products, we can reduce our waste. Upcycle worn-out items, have electronics repaired, and use old products to craft new things. 

Thrift shopping is a lot of fun! I've become a master thrifter, especially clothing and home goods. And YES, you can thrift-shop a high-end, trendy wardrobe. 

Trove Fashion Ottawa consignment store Paws For Reaction blog

Trove Fashion on Wellington West in Ottawa is a fantastic consignment store that sells high-end fashion. The clothes are in great condition. The team is so friendly and they have great style. I consign my pre-loved clothing and accessories at Trove and make money by being thrifty!

Bellwethers Vintage Ottawa Paws For Reaction

If you want to be unique, thrifty, and have a fun shopping experience, I highly recommend Bellwethers Vintage. I can't say enough great things about this store. Vintage clothing intrigues me; I always wonder about the story of the woman who wore it before me. Bellwethers Vintage has eclectic vintage clothing you won't see anywhere else- it feels like a fashion museum. The mother-daughter team are so much fun to shop with! They are wonderful people. I've found some unique pieces that I will cherish for years to come.

Bellwethers Vintage Ottawa Paws For Reaction

Looking for more high-end thrift shops in Ottawa? The Recollective in Hintonburg offers pre-loved brand names and designer fashions. View their social media stories to 'shop their drops.' For interesting vintage finds, including tons of jewellery and accessories, check out Darling Vintage (pictured below). 

Darling Vintage Ottawa Paws For Reaction

PRO TIP: Save money! I shop for household products, kitchenware, books, home decor- ANYTHING you can imagine- at Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. Products may not all be pristine, but they are tax-free and affordable. Saint Vincent de Paul donates a portion of the profits to unhoused in the community. I've found brand-name and designer items for insanely low prices! 

Be creative! Reuse one-time-use plastic items any way you can. Bored Panda shared 23 creative ways to reuse plastic bottles!

Recycling rule #4: Recycle

Recycling. The big one. A classic. In a society that puts plastic at the top of the packaging food chain, it's nearly impossible not to create waste. Recycling plastics properly and abiding by regulations in your community are important. Knowing what can or can’t be recycled is as easy as contacting your city for a list or checking the city waste recovery website. Earth Day Network created a diagram to help you identify recyclable plastics. 

Earth Day Network created a diagram to identify recyclable plastics.

Earth Day Network created a diagram to help you identify recyclable plastics.

Want to learn more about recyclable plastics? Check out this video Knowing Your Plastics.

Litter cleanup Ottawa Earth Day Paws For Reaction

Recycling rule #5: Remove

The last piece of the pollution puzzle is: Remove plastic from the environment. If you are visiting a park, trail, campsite, beach or shoreline, bring a bag and gloves, and do trash collection. We need to protect the places we love the most. It’s how I say thank you to Mother Nature. Make it an event- organize a clean-up with friends. It's a great way to spend time together and give back. 

Earth Day please join me and embrace the 5 Rs of recycling

This Earth Day please join me and embrace the 5 Rs of recycling. We have the ability to make a difference in every industry, but that can only happen when we work together to Invest In Our Planet. We need large-scale change, but that doesn't mean our personal, small actions don't make a difference. The two are not mutually exclusive. 

Make a difference right now!

TAKE ACTION now by signing your name to make Ontario grocery stores do better. 


It's almost impossible to grocery shop without bringing home unnecessary plastic packaging that can't be recycled or reused. Environmental Defence surveyed 54 large, high-traffic grocery stores across Canada including Loblaws, Sobeys and Metro. It found that the majority of products on the shelves and in the produce sections were packaged in plastic. Single-use plastic waste often ends up in landfills, incinerators or littered in nature, and can contain harmful chemical additives. 

Urge big grocery chains to phase out unnecessary single-use plastics and scale up their reusable and refillable packaging systems. 

Earth Day Paws For Reaction

#InvestInOurPlanet #EarthDay #EarthDay2023

0 Comentarios