6 Important Reasons to Recycle More Than We Do
For many of us growing up in decades past, regular trips to landfills or putting our trash out for collection were the norm. We never really thought about what this was effecting as we just wanted the trash out of our homes.
Of course, eventually this led to authorities becoming concerned about how much space we were using for landfills, how many natural resources we were burning through, and how this was having a negative impact on the environment. Something had to change and recycling became a thing.
Nowadays we all know about the three R’s, reduce, reuse, and recycle. As a whole we are far more educated on recycling, about pollution, and our environment. We have made some great strides and now recycle 35% of our household trash on average. This has led to less pollution and less of a negative impact on our environment.
Great as that sounds, we still need to do more, a lot more. It would be fantastic to one day get to a stage where we are not using natural resources for manufacturing and instead recycle everything that we use. This is a way off, but all we can do is strive to recycle more and more.
Governments around the world have set targets to increase the percentage of our trash that we recycle to double the numbers currently by 2030. We need to help them reach those targets.
Newspapers, aluminum cans, glass bottles, nails, and trash bags are just some items that are manufactured using recycled materials. There are hundreds of different uses for these materials in fact, they are even part of the asphalt laid on our roads.
The Recycling Process
Before we get into the major benefits of recycling, let’s look at the recycling process. This process begins the moment they collect your recyclables right up until your recycled materials are used and bought as part of another item.
You separate your recyclables and either leave them out for collection or take them to a drop-off center.
Taken to a recycling facility, the materials get recycled for use when manufacturing other goods.
Manufacturers purchase the recycled materials and use them to manufacture their products.
The recycling cycle is complete once they sell the new products to consumers. Hopefully, those products eventually get recycled too.
Above is the perfect cycle of recycling. Everything is reused and we need no new materials. Now all we need to do is increase how much we recycle, but why? Well, we at Nomos already have a deep understanding of the importance of recycling and the 6 most important reasons to recycle more than we do are the following:
1. Recycling Curbs Our Reliance on Landfills
We cannot keep throwing our trash in landfills the world over. Not only is this taking up space, damaging the environment, and creating unattractive eyesores, but it also means we are using valuable and limited natural resources to manufacture items. The good news is that we have gotten better, they say that we now recycle 35% of our trash on average in the US. We still need to do more.
2. Recycling Prevents the Destruction of Our Resources
Our items do not come out of thin air. Manufacturing first requires the extraction and processing of raw materials which are then used to create our items. These raw materials are not unlimited, and we are burning through them.
Recycling what we have already used allows us to use less of these valuable resources. This way, we actually can create an infinite supply of resources, as we are reusing them instead of disposing them in landfills or illegally in the ocean.
3. Recycling Reduces Pollution
One of the most important reasons to recycle is to protect our environment. The extraction and processing of raw materials such as metals, oil, and wood causes pollution and damages our environment. Yes, recycling has a negative impact on the environment too but far less of one. For example, recycling and then manufacturing cans will create 95% less pollution than if we were to extract and process ore.
4. Recycling Conserves Energy
Recycling saves a lot of energy. There can be no argument there. Manufacturing goods using recycled materials uses less energy than those sourced from raw materials. Did you know that recycling at the rate we are saves enough energy to power close to 15 million homes in the United States each year?
5. Recycling Creates Jobs
Did you know that recycling creates 9 times more jobs than those by landfills and incinerators? In the US, there are already over 1 million people in employment thanks to recycling. If we could hit our targets of recycling 75% of our waste by 2030, that will create a further estimated 1.1 million jobs.
6. Recycling Saves Money
There is a common misconception that it is more expensive to recycle trash than to just use landfills. This is actually false. Yes, there are costs associated with collecting and processing recyclables and that would give the impression it costs more. However, those costs are offset through the selling of the recycled materials created. They sell nothing in a landfill.
None of us are here long in the grand scheme of things. Life is short but we have to think about our future generations. What we do now will have a major impact on the quality of lives of our children and their children in the future. Do we want them to have to deal with the negative effects of climate change? Want them to use up all the earth’s natural resources?
For the sake of separating our trash and making sure it gets recycled to then also only purchasing recycled items, it will make a tremendous difference down the line. Even if you believe you are doing your bit, you can always do more. Please make a conscious effort to continue to recycle and look for other ways to protect our environment and planet for our future generations.
Actually, helping a neighbour to recycle their trash could be a great timebanking example to use. You get to help out both the neighbour and the environment at the same time.