For many of us recycling may just be a foreign term. Something we hear people talk about but not something we want or need to participate in.
In todays age of dramatic climate change, the increasing effects of green house gases, and oceans littered with waste material, we as a community, as inhabitants of the earth, need to be aware of how our waste impacts the natural environment and more so, how by recycling this waste, we can then positively impact the environment and reduce the effects of climate change.
There are numerous ways that recycling helps the environment:
Reducing Products to Landfill and Decrease in Pollution
Products that are not biodegradable or are slow to decompose can remain in landfill sites for many years. Most often, these reminants emit harmful gases such as ammonia, sulfides, methane, and carbon dioxide. Odors in landfill gas are caused primarily by hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, which are produced during breakdown of waste material. These gases are extremely harmful to our environment.
Recycling paper, cardboard, newspapers and magazines and keeping it from going to landfill is just one way that recycling helps our environment. Compared to organic matter, paper takes a considerable amount of time to break down. With the increase in volume of paper being used in business, schools etc, landfills fill up quickly, this reduces the amount of space available for true garbage (waste that cannot be recycled).
Recycling products also typically emits less carbon, thus reducing the carbon footprint of a product.
Reducing Energy Consumption
Recycling items often uses less energy than manufacturing products from virgin sources. Making paper using recycled pulp, for instance, is much less energy intensive.
Cost Saving Benefits
Another benefit of recycling, is that there is often a significant cost savings to be made when using recycled goods. Some people find that they can make money recycling. This is an incentive that has helped many less fortunate individuals earn a sustainable income. Saving money through recycling ultimately helps the environment. If we see a real benefit in our pockets then we are more likely to support the recycling cause.
Recycling is just one of many ways that we can help the environment. Every step that we take, however small, is one more towards helping and supporting the environment in which we live.
As Leo di Caprio said in his recent Oscar speech, “Climate change is real, it’s happening right now, it’s the most urgent threat affecting our entire species, we need to work right now and stop procrastinating.”