Reduce, reuse, recycle. You’ve heard the slogan time and time again, and you’ve seen the blue recycling bins in many a public place. Hopefully, you even make an effort to recycle in your own home. But do you know
recycling is so important? Here are five good reasons why recycling is essential for the well-being of the planet and your community.
Landfills are not a sustainable solution for trash.
If you throw something in the trash bin, it will end up in a landfill. Though landfills have long been the standard protocol for disposing of trash in the U.S., there’s plenty of evidence that they are not a safe or sustainable solution. Their liners will eventually leak, leeching toxic compounds from waste materials into the groundwater. The more you recycle, the less waste ends up in landfills, and the less contamination there will be to worry about in the future.
Recycling saves energy.
It’s no secret that there’s a limited supply of fossil fuels, like gasoline and natural gas, on the planet. Burning these fossil fuels contributes to climate change, too. When you recycle, you reduce the amount of new materials — like aluminum and plastics — that have to be mined and manufactured. This reduces energy use, which conserves fossil fuels and helps reduce greenhouse emissions.
Recycling reduces environmental damage.
Mining for metals like aluminum is not an earth friendly process. It results in soil pollution and destroys habitats. Similarly, producing new paper requires deforestation. When you recycle materials like aluminum and paper, you reduce the environmental damage that must be done to obtain “new supplies” of these materials.
Recycling creates jobs.
Did you know that the recycling industry employs more workers than the auto industry? By putting recyclable materials into the recycling bin rather than into the trash, you’re helping to create jobs in the recyclables processing industry and in industries that utilize recycled goods to make new products.
Recycling saves companies money.
It’s typically cheaper for a company to take a recycled item, process it, and turn it into something new than it is for them to mine and process new materials from the get-go. These savings are passed onto consumers in the form of lower prices.
Recycling is an essential part of green living and a practice everyone should follow. For more green living tips, see our post ”
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