Recycling is the process of taking a product at the end of its useful life and using all or part of it to make another product. Although recycling may seem of concern to only a small group of people (I see only a few of the green recycling bins in my neighborhood every Tuesday), it should in fact concern anyone who cares about the environment.
We all know that paper, plastic, glass and metal are recyclable, but we should also realize the importance of recycling items like batteries, cell phones, electronic items, plastic bags and ink cartridges. According to a report by the EPA ,by the year 2020 there'll be so many old, unused, or broken computers, cell phones, and printers that will fill enough dump trucks to circle the earth twice.
Furthermore, my friends say I have recyclemania. By recyclemania, I mean being very enthusiastic about the process of recycling in this context (I don't think such a word even exists in the English language). Let me explain it a little further. I used to live in a lovely apartment complex; the only problem for an eco-friendly person was the lack of recycling services or facilities. I'm not one to give up easily, so I decided to collect paper, plastic, cans, and glass items in my spare room. Every 2 weeks or so, I used to take them to the closest Recycling Center. I have to admit it was not easy, but it was rewarding because I knew I was trying to do something good for the environment. I'm glad to say since my move to this town-home in 2009, I can recycle without the hassle of going to the Recycling Center. I really think apartment complexes should get a recycling container for its residents who are concerned about the environment.
|This is one of the green bins provided by the City for recycling purposes.|
I believe that besides recycling, there are other measures to take to lessen our impact on the environment by:
1- Using reusable bags instead of plastic ones that eventually break down into tiny toxic pieces polluting the soil and water.
2- Unplugging unused electronics, extra appliances and chargers when you are not using them.
3- Setting your computers to hibernate or sleep to save energy.
4- Setting your thermostat to 68 degrees for daytime, 55 for night in the winter, and 78 degrees in the summer.
5- If you're planning to buy new appliances making sure that they are energy efficient.
6- Making sure you turn off the light when you are leaving the room.
7- Using a stainless steel thermal bottle or the new reusable filtering water bottle (I actually purchased this item and it works great), instead of plastic water bottle that contains BPA.
These suggestions are good for the world as well as your budget, since you'll save money.
Additionally, I came across a research that shows we currently recover only 5% of the plastics produced. What happens to the rest of it? Unfortunately, 50% is buried in landfills, some is remade into durable goods, and much of it remains “unaccounted for”, lost in the environment where it ultimately washes out to the ocean. If we want to do our part to leave a better world for the next generation, we should reduce our consumption of toxic plastics, resuse paper and other materials, and recycle everything we can. Our goal is basically to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
I'd like to share a few facts that might interest you, and help you influence others on the subject if you realize how easy it is to make a big impact on the environment in a positive way.
Did you know recycling...
- One aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV or a computer for 3 hours, or a 100-watt light bulb for 20 hours.
- Six pack of cans save enough energy to drive a car 5 miles.
- One glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours.
- One gallon plastic milk jug saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 11 hours.
- One pound of steel saves enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for 26 hours.
- One-foot high stack of newspapers save enough electricity to heat a house for 17 hours.