Sipped soda out of an aluminium can and tossed the can into the dustbin. Done reading a paper you won’t need again, so crushed it and again thrown into the bin. Bought a new phone or a computer and the old one continues to lie on your desk or in your basement without a purpose. If this sounds like you, then you need to hear out some imperative stuff.
The amount of garbage produced by a person every day is insanely large. Reportedly an average person generates 4.3 pounds of waste per day. Around 55% of the total trash picked up by the garbage collectors ends up going to municipal solid waste landfills. In the United States, these municipal solid waste landfills are the second largest source of human-related methane emissions. And methane, as we know, is a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more effective than carbon dioxide in trapping heat. High concentrations of methane in the atmosphere leads to certain serious issues like global warming. Equally worse can be the trash that doesn’t even go into the landfills or decomposes properly and instead piles up on land and begins to rot. We commonly see small heaps of garbage accumulated at the corners of streets. These become the reason for not only land pollution but also air pollution as they produce foul smells.
Obviously, humans need to reduce the amount of waste produced by them to keep the planet clean and healthy. This can be done in 3 simple ways also called as the 3R’s all of us must have learnt in our environmental class. 3R’s- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Where reducing the use of natural as well as manmade resources and reusing them is certainly the best way to produce less waste, recycling is also another brilliant way to minimize the waste produced by us and help preserve our planet and ensure a better future for it. If you haven’t recycled anything before then, start now with these most common household items that are easy to recycle but high on contribution to the environment.
Regular supply of daily newspaper keeps us informed and updated, but it also ensures a regular production of paper waste as well. Along with newspaper comes paper from used notebooks, pamphlets and other scrap paper which together makes around one-third of the total municipal waste in U.S. But recycling it isn’t rocket science and anybody can do it. One can look for easy ways on the internet to learn recycling paper at home. Old papers can be recycled at home to make beautiful textured handmade sheets that can be put to use in some ways. Or giving out all the paper waste to a paper recycling plant can also be a good idea. Many schools have mini recycled plants installed to encourage young children towards recycling.
Soda cans, food cans and juice cans made up of aluminium often end up going into the dustbin, but recycling aluminium cans is a brilliant way to reduce the amount of waste and conserve a truckload of energy. The process of turning old cans into new ones takes almost 95% less energy than producing brand new cans.
Just like aluminium cans, recycling steel articles like food waste containers, old utensils, damaged auto parts and appliances also saves enormous energy. Recycling materials like aluminium and steel are also beneficial because it doesn’t compromise on the quality of the material. One can collect all the discarded steel items and take them to a recycling unit that can use them to manufacture new products at lower manufacturing cost and energy.
These are commonly used every day for drinking and storage purposes. According to the reports by Container Recycling Institute, this year around 25 billion water bottles made of plastic will be bought by Americans. Where plastic water bottles are so commonly used, these are also the easiest to recycle. Using them to make new plastic items uses two-thirds less energy than producing new plastic which is why plastic recycling should be practiced by everyone.
We all use so many glass containers at home to store stuff from the kitchen, crafts supplies or other utility items. But seldom have we thought of recycling those containers when they become useless. Glass containers can be brilliantly recycled to save a tremendous amount of energy. Recycling a single glass container can alone save enough energy to light up a 100-watt bulb for four hours. Imagine recycling all your discarded glass containers can save how much energy. Also, the recycled glass causes 20 percent less air pollution and 50 per cent less water pollution.
Recycling electrical devices is also an excellent way to help preserve the environment. Computers can be recycled in some ways out of which giving out old computers to someone else for use is the most common one. It not only saves it from becoming garbage but also helps another person in need who might not be able to afford a brand new computer. You can donate your old computer to a charity center or sell it to another person at a cost lower than it’s original. Another way to recycle your old computer is by taking it to a recycling centre. Over there they can be checked for various recoverable parts that might be useful while the rest of the machine can also be recycled.
Everyone loves to buy new clothes but when you discard the old ones what do you exactly do with them? Clothes can be donated to a charity like to old age homes or at orphanages where they can be used by the less fortunate. There are also a million fantastic ways in which clothes can be recycled at home and put to use. Search for some DIY’s for old clothes and you will be amazed to see what all you can make with your washed off pair of jeans or you old torn sweater. This way they will keep your garbage bags lighter and the environment cleaner.
If you are still looking for a reason to recycle then here, it is in a nutshell.
Recycling conserves resources– When old material have recycled the need for extracting new and fresh raw materials from the earth diminishes which means less mining and less deforestation.
Recycling conserves energy– Since extraction, processing, refining and transportation of raw materials gets done away with, the manufacturing process requires lower energy now.
Recycling helps protect the environment– Lesser energy consumption also leads to lower emissions of greenhouse gases which means our planet can be a lot healthier now.