In May this year however, a discussion on o2-Global about how many Rs an eco design product / service / packaging / man-made thing should cover resulted in 5 Rs. This means that if a design can incorporate Reuse Reduce Recycle Recover and Respect it pretty much deserves a green label. You might argue that there are many more Rs to add but to keep things simple and manageable, o2UMW has outlines them as the following which will guide us towards an eco flat (renovation & living it). R3project examples in orange.
Innovation Checklist: The 5Rs of Great Design
Use materials (and support firms) that help reverse damage or -- add -- to natural capital.
Run all finances through an ethical bank, go carbon neutral, use sustainable materials (such as FSC wood), …
Examine impacts the item will have on stakeholders, as well as eco-systems -- social plus environmental justice, look for the win-win-win scenario (triple bottom line).
Support the local economy (shop local, local crafts, …), respect the environment (aesthetic, neighbours, local plants for the garden, … ), …
Reduce the materials needed to do function, including: less materials used, less weight to transport (reduce fuel demands), less energy to manufacture, less energy to store (aseptic pack vs. refrigerated milk), less energy to use (compact fluorescent bulbs vs. incandescent), reduced toxicity (reduce to ZERO).
Reduce the use of energy & water (alternative sources, smart wiring & plumbing, energy-efficient light bulbs and white goods, efficient use of energy & water, …), noise (insulation,…), CO2 (by compensating and cycling), food miles (by shopping locally), …
Reuse something already manufactured, and make item easy to BE reused with minimal remanufacturing (Like wine barrels that get turned into taiko drums when they retired from wine making).
Materials in the flat (bathtub, doors, windows, …), grey water, restore second hand furniture, use plastic containers in the kitchen instead of cling film, …
Create item to be fed BACK into the resource loop (includes Cradle to Cradle), have a robust and easy to use system to RECOVER materials, and USE RECYCLED substrates to make the item (100% PCW paperboard) wherever possible. Under this clause we would naturally tuck the old favourite -- RECYCLE the things you recovered.
Use recyclable materials (PVC free water pipes, …) and recycle (comfortable facilities to recycle glass, plastics, paper and organic waste on a day to day bases).