Futura Interiors

The World of Design at Your Fingertips

Go GREEN with The Six R’s! By Ashlie Mauldin


In today’s world, we should all remain extremely considerate of our environment. After all, it plays the role of taking care of us, for the most part. The sun shines down on us all, providing warmth, the water allows hydration, and the plants originate to provide oxygen as the clouds work to conceal the heat and provide a beautiful illustration for all to see. I cannot even convey to you, just how many times the sky alone has inspired me. I do not know about you, but I sure would like to conserve its beauty for as long as possible.

Luckily, we have been provided with a rather popular Guide, utilized by the design, architectural, and construction industries’, however, applicable to all walks of life. The guide referred to as “The Six R’s”, consists of six words beginning with the letter “R”; self-explanatory? Yes, but each letter hosts a guiding word pointing the consumer in the direction of verdant design and ways to implement flourishing behavior.  In my opinion, The Six R’s were brilliantly originated and customized to the mind frame of humans and the way that we live our lives.

The first of the acronyms is: RETHINK. This is where the manufacturer is encouraged to ask, “Do we make too many products?” The company must utilize this term by evaluating the amount of production that is occurring within their projects. Is it an accurate amount? If not, the originator must reevaluate their production techniques and do what is needed to cut the production down to a reasonable eco-conscious rate.

From the consumer aspect, this is where we must ask ourselves, “Is the amount of merchandise we are purchasing or the materials that we are using an over mass utilization?” For an example, the amount of fuel utilized to run my compact vehicle, as opposed to the amount needed for proper operation of an SUV. By choosing to drive the smaller car, I am “rethinking” the best solution for our living conditions.

Safe for you, your home, and the environment cleaning products by Shaklee Corporation


The second of the acronyms is: REFUSE. This word is depicted to guide the designer to avoid using any materials that are not a necessity and or are harmful to the ecosystem. The business must go ecological by boycotting any material, process, functionality, or substance that is not eco-friendly. A technique for this is again, inquire, “What materials are we using?”, “Do we need these materials?” and “Are they absolutely necessary for this project?” Post answers, you will be able to examine possible alternatives and take a more eco- considerate approach for your business.

As a consumer, I approach the “Refuse” technique by avoiding the purchase or utilization of any material or product that is harmful to our climate. For example, let’s opt to use organic cleaning materials that are free from toxins aiding in the pollution of the air. This decision is the perfect consumer illustration of “Refuse”.

Water timer, monitors the amount of time you run water


Furthering the guidelines, the third of the acronyms is: REDUCE. The “Reduce” aspect of The Six R’s is where the company, producer, or originator is remains conscious to, well; reduce the amount of material or energy that is used at a given time. A good example of this would be solar panels used to eliminate the use of electricity and utilize the sun as a natural source of energy. This is one way that architects or designers can utilize Sustainable Design while developing the structure and functionality of a space.

For the consumer, it is as simple as making sure to turn the light off when leaving a room or when the electricity is not needed at the time, or, what I enjoy doing at times is to ride my bike instead of driving my car to nearby locations. The City of Long Beach, CA. being the first in Sothern California to provide safe bike lanes for bike riders to travel in is the prime example of respecting the environs and supporting The Six R’s. The lanes were implemented about a year ago, this March and studies show that since then, there has been a 10% increase in bike traffic on Broadway and Third Street, bringing the count to 474 bicyclists from the 429 prior count.

Contemporary light fixture made of used airplane windows


For the fourth of The Six R’s we have: REUSE. This R is more than likely the most utilized of them all and is closely associated with “RECYCLE”, the fifth R. In the auto world, simply reusing a product, item or material for the same need as the original use, such as retreading a tire, is the sure way of participating in reuse.

As a consumer, using the sustainable shopping bags repeatedly, the same bag each time you shop is a good example. Plastic, the most common use for grocery bags, has been deemed extremely harmful to the environment. You are aiding in the prevention of plastic as well as the conservation of trees by avoiding the alternate avenue, standard grocery bags, which for the most part to assist, stores have a charge for.

Pendant light fixtures made of corrugated paper


As I mentioned above, RECYCLE is the fifth of The Six R’s. Recycle refers to the processing of waste (raw materials) into new products. A designer taking a metal vent from an air-conditioning system and revising it into a light fixture for room décor, is a fun and accurate example. As a consumer, recycling bottles after the use of them, or recycling paper is a great way, as well all know to “Save a tree.”

Clock repair services


Lastly of The Six R’s, reminds us to REPAIR. What is meant by this is to avoid throwing out broken, disabled, or malfunctioning materials or products. Instead, take the means and steps necessary to repair the product and avoid wasting good materials. In addition, doing so assures that over purchasing of materials or products is not occurring. For a company, when a mass producing machine breaks down, as opposed to the purchase of a new replacement, go green and attempt at the repair of the machine, prior to any unnecessary purchase of new equipment occurs.

A good consumer example of this is when a vintage clock breaks down, instead of discarding it and adding to the waste of materials, repair the item and add to the conservation of the climate.

If we as designers, architects, contractors and consumers begin or continue to apply The Six R’s to our business and lives, we can all work together to conserve the ambiance and keep that beautiful sky that we love so very much, beautiful. Let us remain environmentally-friendly and keep the earth smiling back at us.















  deCamville Design wrote @

I love this post! We all know of course, reduce, reuse, recycle, but I recently took a class that said that to “ReThink” is the new first priority, which is what you’ve written here. You’re ahead of the curve! Thank you! 🙂

  futurainteriors wrote @

Well thank you very much! I am happy that you enjoyed this post! It has definitely been one of my favorites! (: I will be going to hug a tree now (; -Ashlie

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