Teaching our children to recycle is very important. We all are witnessing that recycling has gone from being seen as something that’s nice to do every once in awhile to one of the most important ways of saving energy, preventing pollution, and preserving finite resources for future generations.
By pretty modest estimates recycling can save the amount of energy used in millions of homes and save hundreds of trillions worth of BTUs (an energy measure) from being used in the first place.
This means that recycling can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as much as taking tens of millions of cars off the road today…all by doing your part and recycling. Below are some more recycling related benefits that should get everyone doing their part.
Top 5 Reasons to Recycle
Right now the health of our families depend on this approach. To reduce means using fewer resources, reusing means re-purposing jars or reselling your outdated computer, and recycling means taking advantage of one of the approximately 10,000 recycling programs from coast to coast. Still need more reasons to recycle?:
- Reason #1: Reduces Waste
Recycling metals, glass and plastic products on a daily basis results in less waste going to landfills and incinerators. Americans collectively discard nearly 3 million tons of aluminum cans annually, according to Waste Management.
That number’s way too high since about half of that – or 1.5 million tons – can be recycled. Just recycling aluminum cans would result in considerably less waste, and less energy being used at the incinerator site. A win-win for the environment.
- Reason #2: Lowers Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions are believed to be a leading contributor to climate change. When certain paper products, for instance, break down in a landfill instead of being responsibly recycled, they can decompose anaerobically, or in a harmful way that doesn’t release oxygen.
What disposing waste in this way also does is release harmful amounts of methane, which is around 70 times more potent as a greenhouse gas emitter compared to carbon dioxide.
Considering that carbon dioxide is the thing that we all worry about, it really makes sense to recycle!
- Reason #3: Sidesteps Landfill Pollution
Forgetting to recycle certain electronics results in a lot of heavy metals making their way to landfills and causing unnecessary pollution.
Another source of landfill pollution is leachate, which is the name given to the toxic soup of chemicals that result from improperly disposed waste at landfills. The real danger is that leachate can make its way into the water supply and cause more damage. Recycling sidesteps this whole process.
- Reason #4: Saves a Ton of Money
Recycling saves your city a lot of money since the money not allocated to landfill budgets can go to more essential public services.
- Reason #5: Helps Out Future Generations
Research from Stanford takes a pretty interesting look at recycling and says that we’re actually getting closer to our historical roots by recycling.
Before 1920, nearly three-forths of major cities had widespread recycling programs to prevent waste and repurpose papers, plastics and certain metals. A generation later, during WWII, there was a dip down to about 25%, and its since recovered considerably since that time.
The good news is that nearly half of California cities have major recycling programs and the whole nation’s coming around to this way of life. Being a good steward to the environment means that less overall energy needs to be used and that less waste will wind up in landfills and incinerators.
When we recycle, we tap fewer finite resources and save more for future generations. We encourage you to reach out to us so you and your children can benefit from proper eco-friendly recycling.