by Michele McKay
Recycling is one of the easiest, most tangible ways of taking action for the planet. It’s a visible demonstration of caring and conservation, and it sets a positive example for children, families and communities. Recycling is a feel-good activity… but does it actually help the environment? You bet it does!
How recycling benefits the planet
Recycling saves energy and water, lowers pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, improves air and water quality, preserves landfill space and conserves natural resources. It doesn’t make sense to use paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, steel, and petroleum products once and then throw them away! We can benefit from the raw materials and energy that have already gone into their production. Recycling is cleaner and more energy-efficient than mining, refining, and processing new items from raw resources.
Did you know?
- Recycling a 4’ stack of newspaper yields as much paper pulp as a 40’ pine tree.
- Recycled paper makes 55% less air and water pollution than wood-pulp paper.
- Recycled paper can be made by using just a few non-hazardous chemicals, while virgin paper is produced with hundreds of hazardous and highly toxic chemicals.
- Recycling 16 aluminum cans saves the energy equivalent of 1 gallon of gasoline.
- Recycling aluminum generates 96% less air/water pollution than refining raw ore.
- Recycled aluminum cans may be back on the shelf in as little as 60 days.
- Recycling plastic and motor oil reduces pollution and the need to drill for new oil.
- Recycling motor oil protects clean water – 1 quart will pollute 250,000 gallons of water.
- Recycling protects the land from the ravages of mining, oil drilling, and logging.
Complete the cycle
Take the next step and Buy Recycled in order to close the loop. When we purchase items that display the green “chasing arrows” we support companies that make waste into new products, we support community recycling efforts, and we support a clean, healthy environment.