There’s plenty of facts out there on why recycling is important. The world population is growing, not shrinking, and currently each human being adds significant waste to the planet over his or her lifetime. In New York alone, people produce enough waste in one day to fill the entire Empire State building. The frustrating thing is, in most developed countries it’s not too difficult to make a difference. And what a difference we can make. If everyone recycled their copy of a single edition of The Times, we could save 75,000 trees.
What Exactly Is Recycling?
Recycling means collecting recyclable material, then either taking it to your local recycling facility yourself or collecting it in designated recycling wheelie bins or boxes and left for local authorities to take away (if they offer this facility). A recyclable product is turned back into a raw form that can be used to create a new and different product. Not only are natural resources limited, but recycling efforts can significantly reduce additional waste that will not only harm the planet today, but future generations as well. The natural resources on our planet earth are limited so we must make the most to conserve, recycle and reuse whenever possible.
What Can I Recycle?
What you can recycle depends on your area; not all materials may be recyclable. Check with your local recycling centre to find out what you can and cannot recycle. You’ll notice that recyclable products are labelled with numbers from 1 to 7, 1 being the most recyclable, and 7 being the least recyclable. Also check with your local authority to make sure that you have the correct disposal containers available to ensure your efforts are being put to good use and heading to the recycling centre rather than the landfill you are working so hard to avoid!
Purchase Products Made from Recycled Materials
You’re no doubt aware by now why this is so important. However, the effort involves not only recycling existing products, but purchasing products that have already been recycled. Today, thanks to a strong push in the green movement recently, you’ll notice more and more products made from recycled materials. To purchase products made from reused materials, simply look for a recycling symbol and language on the product’s packaging. Every day manufacturers are finding new ways to create items that are recyclable including paper towels, cardboard boxes, plastic containers, crayons, ink cartridges, paint, garden supplies such as hoses, furniture, wallpaper, and even cans. And don’t forget the packaging. It is often too big for the product inside and uses non-recycled materials. This is wasteful and should be minimised as well when making a purchase decision. Voting with your wallet is one of the best ways to make an impact while sending a clear message to the companies that make these products as to your desire for more attention to recycle-friendly products.
Ways to Reduce the Amount of Waste You Create
Another way to help the planet is to simply cut down on the amount of non-recyclable materials you throw out. What’s a good way to do this?
- One of the most effective ways to help is to bring your own reusable bag to purchase groceries. If you forget, insist on paper and pack as many goods in one bag as possible, without double bagging.
- Try to reduce the amount of packaging you purchase by buying products in bulk.
- Have any paper statements that are normally posted to you – such as bills, financial statements, newsletters, etc. – e-mailed to you instead.
- Buy products that are packaged in cardboard or paper board instead of Styrofoam.
- Try to avoid disposable items such as paper plates, cups and plastic straws (buy paper ones instead).
- When wrapping presents, opt for reusable gift bags instead of wrapping paper – or maybe even reuse wrapping paper.
Composting is another way to reduce rubbish
Composting is the simple step of setting aside your fruit and vegetable peels and pits along with other food waste that does not contain oils or meat and then putting it into a compost pile. This will not only create a much cleaner smelling kitchen but also produce great nutrients for your garden.
Most Waste Can Be Minimised
Every day we use a variety of products in our households and work places to fulfil our basic needs. Most of these products and their packaging are wasted and dumped in bins, which end up in land fill sites. We ignore the fact that a major portion of our waste can be recycled or reused. It would also be very responsible of us, if we could reduce the consumption of products to the maximum extent possible. So, the three R’s of sustainability are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
The Three R’s of Sustainability – Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle
Recycling things involves using a product, in part or as a whole, in the production of similar or same products again. In regular production, the use of raw materials is sourced directly from natural resources. For example, fresh pulp for which trees have to be cut down is used to create first generation paper. Recycled paper can very well be used in producing new paper without vastly compromising the quality of the final product.
The same applies to most products like metal, glass and plastics. The energy saved due to use of recycled materials also adds up to overall savings. Therefore, it is only a matter of choice and attitude towards protecting and enriching the environment we live in. We have to consider the fact that demand drives the supply and controlling demand can lead to reduced exploitation of natural resources.
Why Recycling is Important
There are many good reasons for adding recycling to your routine, ranging from a personal level to a global advantage.
Recycling your waste makes you more responsible in the way you use and dispose of it. It is evident from studies that people who do this instinctively cut down on buying unwanted items from the supermarket. They think of how to dispose of the packaging or the product after use before even buying it. As a result, people end up saving a considerable amount of money while also helping to save the planet.
Individuals, governing bodies and companies can take pride in minimising their waste as they are helping to reduce global environmental damage and making this earth a better place on which to live. It is a direct contribution that everyone can help in.
Recycling Creates Jobs
Apart from the environmental benefits, think of the employment that it can generate. When you put your waste in different bins for paper, plastics, glass and so on, the contents of each are further segregated and taken to Recycling Centres. The man power involved in the logistics and processing of your waste is considerable and thus you are helping to keep them in jobs and aid in the welfare of their families. What could be more appropriate in tough economic times than to create jobs and keep people employed?
The danger of global climate change has forced us to take drastic measures to cut down on pollution levels, to slow down if not eradicate this phenomenon. In view of this, ambitious but necessary targets for recycling are also being set by governments around the world.
To meet these targets, more and more people must take action regularly. As a result, the amount of waste reaching the landfill sites is reduced and the quantity of land fill sites is reduced. Hence better land use for other constructive purposes is ensured.