Recycling, a process that converts waste into re-useable products, has helped to limit the negative environmental impact on Earth in recent years. For example, recycling one ton of aluminum cans conserves as much energy as 26 barrels of oil. That’s 1,665 gallons of gasoline!
That’s not all. In 2012, United States recycled and composted 87 tons of waste, which eliminated more than 168 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s the equivalent to the annual emissions made from over 33 million passenger vehicles!
But there’s still much work to do. More than 95 percent of food waste that could be composted end up in landfills or incinerators. A regular American today throws away an average of 55 percent of possibly-recyclable material.
So what can you do to help? Remember, small changes made by everyone can turn into a large impact on a community. First, reduce the amount of materials you use every day, such as paper, plastic, and more. That will reduce the amount of waste you use as well!
Reducing the amount of material you use on a day-to-day basis doesn’t have to be painful if you reuse materials. Reusable materials, such as a reusable water bottle, can significantly reduce the plastic bottle waste produced. Lastly, recycle whenever you can! It can be little things like Starbuck cups or even scratch paper. By thinking about what we’re using and how to reduce the waste we produce, we can help create a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations to come.
Besides the three R’s, you can also compost. Yard trimmings and uneaten produce can be composted to provide nutrients to the soil. Compost your banana and apple peels, and dump your yard waste into a compost bin!
Recycling as a whole has helped make a greener, healthier environment, but it is of no doubt that there will be more people on the planet; therefore more waste will be produced. Therefore, recycling must play a bigger role in each community for the results to bear fruit.
It’s a gradual process that involves everyone, so do your own individual part and create a greener lifestyle for you and your family. It’s not that tough once you get the hang of it!