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Sustainable resource use

Moving to a more circular economy helps reduce resource use and waste
Everything we own and use requires energy and resources to make, package and transport, contributing to environmental degradation and deforestation as well as climate change. For example, the textile industry accounts for around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. When products are thrown away, these embedded resources and emissions cannot be recovered. What's more, dealing with waste is an enormous challenge and leads to more pollution.

We can limit the impact of the things we use by following the five Rs.


The biggest impact we can have is to reduce the amount of stuff we own in the first place - and this is easily achievable without compromising on the things you really enjoy. All of us land up with things in our home that don't benefit us in any way, whether it's the never-worn clothes or that kitchen gadget that's too fiddly to use.

Thinking about whether items are really needed, only shopping when you have something you need, and buying items that are made to last can reduce clutter and save money as well as cutting your environmental footprint. Things that you do need but only rarely, like tools, could easily be shared, so how about setting up a sharing network with your neighbours, or on social media.

When buying gifts for others, consider giving them low carbon experiences like a trip to the theatre, rather than physical things which may end up being thrown away.


Repairing products instead of replacing them can save you money, reduce waste and cut your carbon footprint. It can be daunting but help is out there! The Repair CafĂ© Gosport runs a monthly session where you can take all sorts of broken items to be fixed by volunteers. They'll take you through the repair as they do it, helping you to become more confident in repairing products youself.


Once you no longer have need of something, there are plenty of options to allow it to be reused instead of throwing it away. Have a look at our waste minimisation tips for some ideas. Buying second hand also cuts down on the amount of stuff being produced and thrown away and helps organisations that support reuse.


Things that are no longer in suitable condition to keep using, repair, or pass on for others to reuse still may not need to be thrown away. Upcycling is a great way to create unique and distinctive items that you can enjoy. There are several charities that refurbish items as well, keeping them out of landfill while supporting vulnerable people by offering essential items for free.


As a last resort, if you do have to discard items then they can often be recycled, extending the life of the materials that went into making them, and using less energy than extracting and processing virgin resources. Check our recycling pages to find out what you can recycle using our kerbside collection, recycling banks, the Household Waste Recycling Centres, and the green waste collection service.

Reducing water use

Climate change will lead to fewer days of rain, and an increased frequency of heavy rain events which result in water running off into rivers and sewers rather than being stored in aquifers and reservoirs. This will add to the water stress we're already experiencing, so while thinking about cutting down on the resources you use, it's also worth looking into how to save water.

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