Recycling has become a crucial process for preserving the Earth and making sure it lasts for future generations. When you choose to recycle, you are taking an item that has already served its initial purpose and allowing it to be remade into something brand new — instead of discarding it to a landfill. Recycling, though not always the easiest option, has a slew of fantastic benefits for people, plants, animals, and the entire planet. Here are 12 ways recycling improves our everyday lives:
Recycling can help protect wildlife and its habitat. Rain forests are sacrificed for paper and are destroyed by logging or burning, sequentially destroying millions of animals’ homes. Furthermore, the toxic chemicals from decomposing garbage contaminates their food and water supplies. Properly recycling your waste can help ensure a safe, happy environment for wildlife.
When waste is sent to a landfill, it begins to break down, releasing toxins that absorb into the Earth. These toxic chemicals then contaminate the groundwater, which evaporates, and causes air pollution. In addition, the by products of waste can also find their way to water sources and, eventually, end up being consumed by humans.
Improves Water and Soil Quality
If we reduce the amount of garbage in landfills, we can greatly improve the quality of water and soil, as there will be less toxins to contaminate the clean supply.
Prevents Global Warming
Producing, transporting, and discarding waste creates greenhouse house gas (GHG) emissions. This particular gas traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, contributing to the current global climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that raising the national recycling rate from its current level of 18% to 35% would reduce GHG emissions by 9.8 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE).
A great deal of our materials come from naturally occurring resources. Paper comes from trees, plastics are made from oil, glass is made from sand, and metals are made from rocks. When we recycle, we eliminate the need to cut down, mine, collect, or extract a new raw material. This, in turn, not only cuts down on manufacturing costs, but it also allows our limited resources to last longer.
Reduces Waste in Landfills
This one is simple. When we make the most out of our products, there is less waste buried in landfills. As a result, there will not be as many, and they will take up less space on the Earth.
Processing recycled materials takes less energy than it does when processing fresh materials. Recycled paper, for instance, takes less energy to process than creating new paper from a tree. The EPA estimates that recycling one ton (2,000 lbs) of paper can save enough energy to heat the average home for up to six months.
Practicing recycling efforts in your home allows you to save money on certain necessities. For example, when you save cardboard boxes, tissue paper, and gift bags, there will be no need to run to the store for wrapping materials when the next birthday rolls around. What’s more, if you partake in canning, you can save glass jars from various condiments and spreads, meaning you won’t have to keeping buying new ones every season. Lastly, you can save money on tupperware containers if you wash and reuse certain plastic containers from store-bought foods.
Lowers Product Costs
When products cost less to manufacture, they cost less to purchase. Since they’re not made from fresh raw materials, products made from recycled materials are less expensive.
Recycling not only helps the environment, it helps our economy as well by creating more jobs. Recycling creates the need for new businesses to transport and process materials as well as companies to design, manufacture, and distribute the new products.
By practicing recycling efforts today, we are laying the foundation for future generations to help nurture the Earth and even discover new, innovative ways to protect the environment.
Increases Human Health
GHG emissions are known to cause chronic health issues, like asthma. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that air pollution is responsible for nearly 5% of the global burden of disease.
There is a slew of health, economic, and environmental advantages of recycling. Implement recycling initiatives at work and in your home to ensure we reap the maximum benefits.