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Sustainability - The 4Rs - Reduce

OllieReduceThis is about the stuff we buy and how it's made. We're talking about:


  • Products (goods, or things we make)
  • Services - examples: getting a hair cut, or your teeth checked, or cable TV at your house.

8 Rules for Smart Shopping

When you shop, follow the 8 Rules for Smart Shopping:

  • Choose products that can be recycled
  • Choose products made from recycled material
  • When possible, choose products that can be reused
  • Choose products that don’t have extra packaging
  • Think how you will use a product or service before you buy it
  • Don’t buy more than you need
  • Choose products or services that are made locally
  • Choose products or services that are made and used in ways that help the environment.

When stuff is made

Companies that make products and deliver services need to think about how their products and services affect the environment. This means looking at:

  • The work or tasks in each stage of making a product
  • The impact or affect that these tasks have on the environment and on people.

Product Life Cycle

We call the tasks involved in making a product or delivering a service its “life cycle”. And the companies that make products are called manufacturers.

If manufacturers understand the life cycle of their products, they should be able to do three things:

  • Make the products using sustainable materials and tasks
  • Encourage people to use the products in ways that are sustainable
  • Make sure their products are disposed of, or got rid of, without harming the environment.