| By Carmella Arroyo
“What can I recycle?” “But where do I recycle this?” “Can I throw anything into my home recycling bin?” “Does this even make a difference?”
With today’s growing population and new lifestyle changes, it seems like it’s almost impossible to make a difference for our earth. So, what’s the point in recycling? Truth is, recycling today has become more essential to our environment and our future than it ever has before. Everything that is tossed into the trash ends up in landfills that are already overfilling every single day. With bigger landfills, comes a greater amount of harmful chemicals released into our airs, destruction of our natural habitats, and a shortage of our valuable resources.
One of the biggest benefits that comes with recycling is how much energy can be saved. The Aluminum Association stated that the energy being saved after recycling one aluminum can, rather than making a new raw material, can power a TV for approximately 3 hours. Recycling plastic containers only take 1/10 of the energy needed to make new plastic from raw materials. Energy Administration Information also states that one ton of paper being recycled could save about 17 trees and that recycling paper only needs about half the water required to produce new paper from virgin wood.
Most people are thinking, “Wow, so recycling can have a big impact on our futures… but where do I start?” A great start can be as simple as throwing away all your junk mail or plastic water bottles into your home recycling bin. Even though these steps are important, let’s take an even bigger step to help save our earth. So many different materials can be recycled. Metals, paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, batteries, lightbulbs, and so much more. What’s important to know is where these materials need to be recycled. Here is a helpful guide to where you can recycle all your items:
A few extra tips about recycling:
* It’s extremely important to clean your items before they are recycled. One contaminated item, whether it have food waste or any kind of product left inside, can contaminate a whole batch of items that were going to be recycled; forcing the facility to throw the entire batch back into landfills.
*Add an extra bin somewhere in your bathroom to make it easier to recycle things like shampoo plastic containers, toilet paper rolls, or even pill bottles.
*Get into the habit of not using plastic straws or styrofoam. Both of these materials cannot be recycled. Invest in metal reusable straws and reusable food containers instead.
Without recycling we wouldn’t be able to conserve our natural resources. We need recycling to ensure a sustainable future for ourselves. Today’s the day we stop our accumulating landfills. So to answer the question, “Does this even make a difference?”… Yes. A huge difference. Taking these few extra steps to recycle can make a huge difference that can save our environment, our earth and our future.
Header Photo by Alfonso Navarro on Unsplash