In today’s environmentally-conscious world, most people have recycled at least a few times in their lives. Though many individuals take great effort to recycle the various bottles and paper that they use on a daily basis, others are not quite so involved in the movement. Those who are looking to become more avid recyclers need only look at the various benefits that the practice can bring them, their communities, and the environment.
From resource protection to job creation, here are seven of the best reasons why we should all recycle:
Recycling helps save resources.
Every time manufacturers create new products and materials, they must draw upon the Earth’s natural resources. During the typical product lifecycle, items begin in the form of raw substances that must undergo manufacturing and processing before reaching consumers.
More often than not, after they have served their purpose, these products end up in disposal sites. As the production cycle begins once again, manufacturers must continue to draw from such natural resources as trees, precious metals, and fossil fuels.
The “closed-loop” system of recycling minimizes the need to use our planet’s finite resources. Instead of disposal, this method ensures that products and their materials can be re-used during the creation of new items. Organizations in an increasing number of industries are following this trend and adopting programs that allow them to use recycled materials in their products.
Recycling reduces pollution.
Recycling on both residential and industrial levels can help reduce the amount of pollution in the environment. When manufacturers create products out of new resources, they generate much more water and air pollution than they do when they use recycled materials.
In fact, industrial factories that utilize raw substances during production typically consume large amounts of fossil fuels that release dangerous greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If they choose to use recycled materials, they can greatly minimize these environmental threats.
Consumers can help industrial entities minimize the pollution they create by recycling items in their own homes. With more recycled materials available to use during production, manufacturers will create fewer emissions.
Another way individuals can contribute to pollution reduction is to buy products that are composed of recycled materials. For example, a vehicle that is made from a recycled substance such as aluminum will require less gasoline than a vehicle composed of heavy steel.
Recycling diverts waste from landfills.
For decades, landfills have served as a means of waste disposal for communities across the globe. As the population continues to increase, landfills are becoming more engorged with both waste and countless items that could have gone to recycling facilities. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the country saw nearly 140 million tons of trash go into landfills in 2014 alone. Due to the continued use of landfills, the space inside them is dwindling quickly.
Not only do overflowing landfills look unattractive, but they also inundate local communities with bad odors and harmful waste runoff. Instead of throwing non-biodegradable materials into landfills, individuals can recycle as a means of safeguarding themselves and the environment from the potential dangers of landfills.
Recycling conserves energy.
When consumers choose to recycle the materials and products that they use, they help reduce the demand for new products that take precious energy to make. The process of product creation requires energy at every stage, whether workers are extracting raw materials from the Earth or companies are transporting items for sale.
If manufacturers choose to use recycled materials, then they will have the opportunity to make products out of items that are already prepared for industry use. It will thus take far less energy to turn these materials into sellable products, which benefits both local economies and the environment.
Recycling provides financial rewards.
Recycling can also lead to a number of financial benefits to individuals and communities. When people recycle in their daily lives, they have the opportunity to earn extra money by selling recycled goods to companies that need them.
Many communities also have specialized programs that pay residents for each item they recycle. In addition, the simple act of using recycled materials and products at home will save money that would otherwise be spent on new goods.
The financial benefits of recycling extend beyond the home. As more individuals turn to recycling, the cost of the entire waste management process goes down. Recycling costs significantly less than traditional trash disposal and incineration techniques. Thus, it provides savings to cities that fully utilizing recycling facilities. Companies can also save money by participating in corporate recycling initiatives.
Recycling creates jobs.
One of the more unseen benefits of recycling is that it is a source of job opportunities. Recycling does not take just the effort of individuals, businesses, and other participants. The entire industry is much bigger than most of us imagine.
In fact, the recycling sector employs a growing number of individuals who are responsible for managing the flow of recycled goods and ensuring that it is all sorted properly. There are currently more individuals working within the recycling industry than there are in the automobile or waste management sectors.
Recycling protects the environment.
Protecting the environment is perhaps the best reason everyone should recycle. The rise of the recycling movement has helped generate awareness about the environment and our impact on it. As a result, we have taken the necessary steps to protect forests from being cut down for paper and lumber, prevent hazardous waste from entering water supplies, and reduce the engagement in mining activities that harm ecosystems.
There are far more environmental benefits to recycling than most people realize, but each one makes a large impact on the quality of the Earth.