A common symbol that can be seen on garbage bags, dump trucks and trash cans is of recycling. The phrase ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ is taught to children all over the world in the hope of creating a clean environment. We all know that recycling is a simple way in which every person can contribute to making a better world.
However, surely there must be more benefits of recycling than just reducing the amount of trash we throw out. After all, it takes time and effort to collect, separate and send away the trash. But the fact is that there are many ways in which this process makes for a better and happier world.
Why is Recycling Important For the Environment?
If we want to preserve Earth for our future generations, recycling is really important. Since we are making new products from the old products which are of no use to us, it is good for the environment. If waste is not recycled, it can negatively impact our environment in many ways.
1. Recycling helps protect the environment
The manufacturing of new materials from raw materials requires extracting that is mining, quarrying and logging, and also refining and processing of raw materials, all of which create substantial air and water pollution.
Recycling reduces the need for all these mentioned as manufacturers do not have to look for new materials as they can reuse old ones to create new ones. It not only saves energy but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. It is estimated that current UK recycling saves more than 18 million tonnes of CO2 a year, which is equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road.
2. Recycling reduces pollution
Pollution, in the form of water, air, and land pollution, has been a world-known hazard resulted from industrial waste like chemicals, plastics, and cans. Recycling these materials has helped our environment a lot. Instead of throwing your waste away recklessly, it is good to consider if it can be used elsewhere.
3. Recycling is environment-friendly
Trees play a big role in keeping Mother Nature alive. However, every single day trees are cut down to make paper and more paper. Recycling of paper helps in restoring forests, thus protecting our environment. Many paper manufacturing companies recycle paper to reduce deforestation and conserve the environment at large.
4. Global warming
Global warming is now a burning issue. The continuous greenhouse gas emissions in the air contribute to global warming and, therefore, climate change. Recycling plays a big role in minimizing global warming. The improper waste disposal emits different gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulfur, which contribute to global warming. As the recycling process involves minimal waste disposal, burn little fossil fuels and most chemicals are reused, there is less emission of greenhouse gas.
5. Recycling is crucial for Protecting ecosystems and wildlife
Waste can impact animals and, consequently, humans because of the food chain. Waste can cause loss of natural habitats and contributes to negative impacts like climate change and global warming, which can also destroy animals’ natural habitats. When animals and other biological organisms lose their habitats, they can die off or starve.
Raw materials often come from our most important forests, like rainforests that include natural resources like timber, water, and minerals. Recycling helps cut back on new materials and thus preserve natural habitats, forests, rainforests, and give the Earth a chance to grow and heal.
Incredible Benefits of Recycling
1. Reduce the Size of Landfills
One of the biggest reasons why recycling has been promoted is that it does reduce the strain on our environment. By utilizing waste products in a constructive way, we can slowly decrease the size of our landfills. As the population grows, it will become difficult for the landfills to hold so much and trash. When this happens, our cities and beautiful landscapes will face pollution, poisoning and many health problems. The benefits of recycling are that it helps to keep the pollution in check and decrease it little by little.
2. Conserve Natural Resources
Scrap cars, old bottles, junk mail and used rubber tires are becoming common features of our landfills. All of these may seem endless, but the resources required to make them are finishing off quickly. Recycling allows all of these junk items to be used over and over again so that new resources do not have to be exploited. It conserves natural resources such as water, minerals, coal, oil, gas and timber.
Another one of the benefits of recycling is that it allows more emphasis to be put on creating technology to utilize what already exists. This is why a number of industries support programs where they can receive large quantities of recyclable material to convert into new items.
3. More Employment Opportunities
While you may feel that recycling is each person for himself, in reality, it is a huge industry within itself. After you do the basic sorting out and deposit your trash for recycling, it has to be sorted and shipped off to the right places. This is done by thousands of workers, who are newly employed by the growing industry.
Certainly, one of the major benefits of recycling is that it creates more jobs in the community and provides stability to the entire process. Throwing the trash away creates some six to seven jobs at best, where recycling can help create close to thirty jobs.
4. Offers Cash Benefits
Recycling is not all about being charitable and doing what is good for the environment. If it were so, everybody would recycle out of the goodness of their hearts. Most governments have policies in place which give financial benefits to those who recycle. People that take the aluminum cans or glass bottles to the recycling plant get cash benefits in return. In fact, many teenagers can pick up recycling as a way to make extra money on the side. Old newspapers, appliances, plastic, rubber, steel, copper and even beer cans can be sold for money.
5. Saves Money
An unexpected place where the benefits of recycling can be seen is our economy. A strong economy is one that is efficient in nature. What drags it down is having to pay for resources that are growing scarce in the country. Every bit of recycling counts when the economy does not have to pay for planting more forests, mining iron ore or purchasing fossil fuels from other countries. When the jobs increase, the economy gets a boost. As the cost of maintaining the current waste disposal system goes down, all the money saved is diverted to where it is needed the most.
6. Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
When you recycle products, you tend to save energy, which results in less greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases are primarily responsible for an increase in global warming. It helps to reduce air and water pollution by cutting down the number of pollutants that are released into the environment. A recycling rate of 30% can is almost equivalent to removing 30 million cars from the roads.
7. Saves Energy
When you recycle aluminum cans, you can save 95% of the energy required to produce those cans from raw materials, energy saved from recycling one glass bottle is enough to light a light bulb for four hours. This clearly shows how much energy can be saved if recycling is taken on a larger scale. With this, the reliance on foreign oil is reduced, which also helps you to save money in the long run.
8. Stimulate the Use of Greener Technologies
With the use of more recycling products, it has pushed people towards greener technologies. The use of renewable energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal is on the rise, which has helped to conserve energy and reduce pollution.
9. Bring Different Groups and Communities Together
At the end of the day, recycling is an act that can bring a community together. Whether it is by picking up trash from the roads or collecting waste materials to raise money for schools and colleges, many simple programs that make a community stronger can be built upon the many benefits of recycling.
Many people have found that their collective efforts in proper waste disposal have made their towns cleaner and happier. Others have found friends and supporters in their mission to change the world. In fact, it is one of the best ways to teach children about responsibility and taking the initiative.
10. Prevents Loss of Biodiversity
The less raw material is needed when you engage yourself in recycling products. The beauty of recycling is that it will help you to conserve resources and prevents loss of biodiversity, ecosystems and rainforests. Mining activities will reduce, which is considered dangerous for mine workers. Soil erosion and water pollution will be reduced, which in turn will protect native plants and animals from surviving in forests.
Deforestation, which is on the rise these days, will significantly reduce if recycling is considered seriously by the majority of people.
11. Recycling reduces incineration
When we recycle the products, the materials that are recyclable are reprocessed into new products, and as a result, the amount of rubbish sent for incineration reduces.
The benefits of recycling are simple, but the effect they can have is large. This is why so many countries support the process and make sure that their citizens face no trouble at all when they want to take up recycling.