Recycling is a big step forward for society. Being able to use things and materials more than once means it is possible to minimize (necessary) pollution and to optimize our coexistence with the environment. The economic side of the story is another thing – we are able to save up energy, resources, time and the amount of work that goes into the next product. Teaching ourselves and our kids the advantages when implying this life philosophy can only bring us good and leave us room for progress in other fields.
So what exactly is recycling? It is the process of converting waste into new materials and objects. This can lead to reducing energy usage, and lowering of air and water pollution (from incineration and landfilling, respectively). It can also help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Throwing out potentially useful materials equals to throwing out money. Although it is a small amount per item, imagine the worth of the pile you would get if all the waste of a street, city, state, or country, would be put in one place. In this case, a little leads to a lot.
Recycling is the third component of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” waste hierarchy. The symbol is known worldwide and consists of three chasing arrows. Although it can be shown in other colors as well, it is mostly green.
Are all materials recyclable? Most of them are, though not equally. Mostly recycled materials include many kinds of cardboard, glass, metal, paper, plastic, textiles, tires and electronics. Other waste, such as food or garden waste, also gets recycled in a form of composting or other reuse.
Although recycling in a strict sense would mean that in the process of it you get a brand new product of the exactly same kind, the waste is most commonly reused as an ingredient in making another product. The reason behind this is that the first case would demand a lot of money or cause difficulties. However, this doesn’t mean that recycling is not beneficial or source – and money-saving.
As an illustration, we leave you with a couple of examples that will make a good food for thought:
– It takes 24 trees to make 2204.62 pounds (1 metric ton) of newspaper.
– Aluminum cans are (probably) the most recycled item, at least in the US.
– There is no limit to recycling aluminum; you can do it over and over again!
– Recycling a single day worth of NY Times would save up to 75000 trees, if not more!
– Glass is 100% recyclable. It is separated by colors because glass keeps its color even after being recycled.