10 Reasons Why You Should Recycle Your Waste
Despite the benefits of recycling being widely publicized in recent years, according to surveys, one quarter of Americans still don’t recycle anything at all.
There is a first time for everything, of course, and most people, including myself, can remember when they were lazy and just threw everything in the trash can and let the trash men take it away.
If you are new to recycling, or are unsure about some of the issues involved, or are just wondering whether it is worth all the effort and - I have put together this list of 10 reasons why you should recycle. I hope that you find it useful.
At the very least, I would hope that you will appreciate after reading it why people like myself believe that recycling is so important and better still, I would hope that would seriously consider recycling more yourself.
We live in a disposable society. It's easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name - we call it recycling.— Neil LaBute
Below are my top 10 reasons why you should recycle:
1. Trash that is thrown away and not recycled will end up either in a landfill, or incinerated, or will hurt the environment in some other way.
The more waste that gets recycled, the less damage is done to the environment.
2. Everybody wins with recycling. It is not just beneficial to the environment and a way of tackling global warming, it is also good for businesses and industry because it conserves energy.
That’s because it is cheaper to recover raw materials from recycled waste than go through the damaging and expensive process of extract them from scratch, or by going through the original manufacturing processes.
If you want grown-ups to recycle, just tell their kids the importance of recycling, and they'll be all over it.— Bill Nye
3. Recycling isn’t just an issue for one country, it is a problem for the entire human race and therefore a worldwide problem.
If the human race carries on as it is, we will run out of places to bury the synthetic waste, or do the environment serious damage, as is happening with global warming.
Gramacho is the last landfill that allows people in. Brazil is the leading nation in recycling due to its poverty. There are people there surviving from what they find in the garbage.— Vik Muniz
4. Between about 2/3 and 3/4 of household waste is currently recyclable.
The more people who get involved recycling, the more resources can be made available for recycling and the more pressure can be put on manufacturers and stores to use renewable materials.
5. Recycling is not just something that a handful of environmentalists should be involved with – it is something that everybody needs to be doing.
There is overwhelming scientific evidence that synthetic waste that isn’t recycled is causing serious problems with health, the weather, and the eco-system generally.
While it is true that just a few people recycling 50% of their waste wouldn’t make much difference, if the majority of people do it, then it can make a massive difference.
People who volunteer at the recycling center or soup kitchen through a church or neighborhood group can come to feel part of something 'larger.' Such a sense of belonging calls on a different part of a self than the market calls on. The market calls on our sense of self-interest. It focuses us on what we 'get.'— Arlie Russell Hochschild
6. The more ordinary people who recycle, the stronger the message to the politicians and leaders that strong action is needed on a national and international level.
Ordinary people taking responsibility for their waste makes a political difference, as well as a practical one.
The concept of Shwopping is so clever, I think. The idea is that every time someone goes shopping, they can take an unwanted item of clothing and pop it in the recycling bin in their M&S store for Oxfam.— Joanna Lumley
7. Recycling is generally speaking, free.
All it will cost you is a small amount of time, sorting your waste into the basic categories and washing out cans and bottles and maybe a minimal amount of fuel for the transport of your recycling boxes and bags to be recycled.
8. Trash pollutes the environment generally. It contaminates the sea and the soil, it can be hazardous for bird and animal life, and it undermines local eco-systems.
Recycling is the most responsible way in which trash can be dealt with.
I love to work. When I was a kid, I would invite my friends over to play, then I would take them over to a recycling plant and we would haul glass all day. They hated me for this, but I thought it was fun.— James Marsters
9. Many of the resources that are used to produce products and packaging in the modern world are finite.
Plastic requires oil, for instance, and the oil will eventually run out. The sooner and more extensively we can use renewal fuels and materials and then recycle them, the better.
I'm mad keen on recycling because I'm worried about the next generation and where all this waste we're producing is going. It has to stop. I wash out my plastic containers and recycle envelopes, everything I possibly can.— Cherie Lunghi
10. You can cut down on the amount of waste that you generate generally, regardless of whether it is recyclable or not, by thinking about the things that you buy.
The less plastic packaging a product has, for instance, the less waste there is left over after you’ve used or consumed it.
I'm really interested in how you create a whole new economy of recycling. It's literally the 'underground economy.' All this stuff that on the surface creates growth and profit, ends up with waste, junk, and CO2. So how do you make it economic to bring new players into the ball game?— Peter Senge
How much waste do you recycle?
Questions & Answers
How can we stop people leaving plastic bottles on the beach?
Educating people about the consequences of littering the beach with plastic is good, but generally has a limited effect. Dissuading people through laws and policing can help, but again isn't that effective. Providing people with incentives to recycle would seem to be a workable idea that does have evidence of success. The UK, for example, is currently introducing a deposit scheme, where people receive money when they return plastic bottles after use. The ideal solution, however, would be for all plastic products to be replaced with biodegradable alternatives.Helpful 1
How can we educate school children about recycling? At my school picking up litter is treated as a punishment.
Too many people throw away their empty bottles, wrappers, packaging, and general litter without thinking about what happens to it later. Children and adults need to be educated on how trash is disposed of and why so much of it can end up in, for example, the sea, or washed up on beaches. It's also important to understand how much energy and resources go into making single-use plastics, such as water bottles. Producing recyclable or biodegradable products solves some of the issues, though lifestyle changes such as using a water flask filled from the tap instead of buying a plastic water bottle are better. Litter is so often a waste of resources, and disruptive to the environment, including animal life.
© 2014 Paul Goodman