Whether plastic, paper or aluminum, products and materials that can be used after fulfilling their original purpose are far from worthless. In fact, most materials have a great recycling value. If we really want to focus on recycling, it’s important to change the way we handle it on both a personal and societal level. We need to drastically change and improve our recycling habits at home, in schools and in the workplace.
If we want to prepare our planet for the future and leave it to future generations, recycling is very important in today’s world. Even if we live in a consumer-driven world with an increased appetite for new things, we can turn our problem into an opportunity if we start looking at the waste created by this level of consumption from a different perspective. It is in our hands to leave a sustainable world to future generations…
Recycling reduces the health risks of disease and birth defects associated with landfills and incinerators. It also has a positive impact on our personal health and the health of our planet in other ways. If we want a healthy body in the future, recycling should be at the top of our priority list. The quality of the air we breathe and the soil from which our food comes depends on having a clean environment. This is very important if we want to ensure a healthy world for future generations.
- Conserving natural resources: Recycling materials such as paper and wood saves trees and forests. Once we lose old woodlands, it takes many years to regain them. Recycling plastic means producing less new plastic. Recycling metals means less need for risky, expensive, and damaging mining and extraction of new metal ores. Recycling glass reduces the need to use new raw materials such as sand.
- Protecting ecosystems and wildlife: Recycling reduces the need to grow, harvest, or extract new raw materials from the Earth. This, in turn, reduces harmful degradation and damage to the natural world: less forest is cut down, less wildlife is harmed or displaced, and less water, soil, and air pollution occur. At the same time, if waste is not recycled safely, it can reach rivers and seas, contaminate coastlines and waterways, and become a problem for everyone.
- Reducing demand for raw materials: With increasing demands for new materials around the world, leading to the removal or other exploitation of the poorest and most vulnerable people (for example, those living around forests or river systems) from their homes. Recycling existing products is a much better way than harming someone else’s community or looking for new raw materials.
- Energy-saving new products: Making products from recycled materials requires less energy than making them from new raw materials. It usually takes much less energy to produce something a second time, although not always.
- Reducing climate-changing carbon emissions: Recycling produces lower carbon emissions as you need to use less energy to source and process new raw materials, which means it can help with global warming. It also keeps waste that potentially releases methane out of landfills. In general, reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere is vital to halt climate change and not put human health at risk.
- Cheaper than waste collection and disposal: The more we increase recycling and the less waste we throw in the trash, the more money we save. This would be good for households, businesses, and local utilities. Recycling food waste and green waste is also a great idea and often produces a lot of valuable compost that can be used to grow more food and other crops.
Reduce: It is the step taken to minimize the amount of waste, by choosing cloth kitchen towels instead of paper, using cotton fabric bags and nets instead of plastic bags we buy from the market to store vegetables, and avoiding plastic or paper bags as much as possible, that is, what we did in the first step.
Reuse: Acquiring materials such as glass containers that we can reuse throughout our lives, instead of disposable materials such as daily packaging, is a very important step for both our health and our environment.
Recycle: Recycling materials we cannot reuse is one of the most important steps to ensure they do not end up in landfills. This includes donating or reselling clothes, sending paper, plastic, and glass to a recycling center, and giving away toys and games our family no longer needs. A few small changes like these in our daily habits will greatly enable us to go a long way in making a difference for our own health and the health of the planet.