How Recycling Benefits The Environment

We are taking a toll on our environment with our careless, wasteful habits.  Our air and water is being polluted from our irresponsible behavior.  Some folks put the blame for harm to the environment at the feet of government.  Actually, the government cannot protect our natural resources without the help and cooperation of every single person, office, business and municipality.  It is the duty of each and every person to strive to make a difference in cleaning up the environment.

We can make an improvement in the environment by planting trees, preserving our forests, recycling materials at home and in the workplace, making sure we do not send dangerous materials into our lakes and streams and ground.

Recycling is the process of reprocessing and reusing old materials by turning the materials into something new and usually different.  Recycling helps prevent the waste of potentially useful materials or components.  This helps to reduce air and water pollution and helps lower the dangerous greenhouse gas emissions also.

There are many different types of recyclable materials including paper, glass, metal, some plastic as well as textiles, electronic components, etc.  Most cities and towns have collection centers for recyclable materials.  These materials are then cleaned, sorted and reprocessed into new products and materials.

A few brief examples of how recycled products are reused include door mats made from recycled tires.  Aluminum cans can be repurposed into new aluminum cans.  Other aluminum can be used in car bodies.  Recycled glass can be reused to make new glass products.  Recycled #2 plastic can be used for plastic lumber, buckets, playsets and new bottles.  These are just a very few of the ways in which recycling can help the environment.

Recycling provides a number of benefits for both man and the environment.  Recycling reduces the amount of trash disposed in landfills.  Less waste disposal means fewer landfills need to be build.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are over 10,000 municipal landfills and more than 3,000 active urban landfills.  Modern landfills are tightly sealed to protect the environment from possible contamination.  However, this can actually inhibit the natural degradation of organic waste materials.

If we recycle all of the newspapers we use, we could help prolong the use of each landfill.  Recycling helps reduce the level of contamination of hazardous chemicals and components found in old computers, cellular phones, TV monitors, toys and other electronic products.  Old computer monitors, for example, may contain as much as eight pounds of lead.

Once these harmful substances leach into the soil and underground water they spread and contaminate the streams, rivers, and individual water wells.  These contaminates will taint and harm the fish and other seafood that we consume.

Recycling in your own home, office and other workplaces can help save our precious natural resources.  When you recycle your old newspapers, junk mail, cardboard and other paper materials you help protect the air, and you may save some trees from being cut down to make the paper products.  When you recycle appropriate plastic products such as bottles and other plastic containers you lessen the need for new petroleum to make these kinds of plastic items.

It is easy to find a listing of the items which are acceptable for recycling.  The list is long.  Check online for the recycling guidelines for your area.

To help protect the environment here are a few simple steps you can follow.  Whenever possible buy recycled products.  Have your correspondence sent electronically instead of paper copies.  When printing material use both sides of the paper.  Instead of paper plates and cups and disposable forks and knives use washable plates and mugs and cutlery.  With a little bit of thought you will find many ways you can conserve waste and help protect the environment.Sunny Denver Skyline