The earth has taught us about slow, steady, and consistent growth. It has also taught us an essential principle of continuation and maximization, which is recycling. Our teachers, when we were kids, colored our imagination with anecdotes of water and its cycle. They would tell us that the water our great grandparents used is the same we are using now. But it is an irony that humans are finding it challenging to inculcate this age-long principle into our daily living. Countries seldom focus on reuse or even recycling and have overlooked the benefits of recycling products.
Recycling is part of the three totems of sustainability, which are Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. It is a process where materials that have been used before are broken down even into their basic components and then reused to make new products. It differs from ‘reuse’ because while it needs to undergo a process, the later does not. Examples are seen in glass jars, portable water bottles, and even reusable straws.
The Importance of Recycling.
The importance of recycling has moved from the primary benefits of preserving the earth and upholding sustainability to merits to the economy. Who knew that the papers used to scribble your thoughts and the waste from your food could employ people and put food on the table of someone? There are a lot of benefits why you should key into recycling. Not just as the one who does the actual work in waste management firms, but at least as one who separates waste at home and send them for recycling, making it easier for waste management firms to do their part.
When you want to talk about the environment, it covers a whole lot of areas beyond the physical environment. It extends from preserving millions of habitats from exploitation and pollution to elongating your health with fresher air, cleaner waters, flourishing environment. With the recent trends, we should know that if we invest in the environment, it yields greater good and positivity. Here are a few of the endless, seamless continuum of benefits to the environment.
For the love of Animals and their Homes
Recycling protects ecosystems and wildlife. The process of extracting new materials from the earth usually results in the destruction of habitats, forced migration, and species extinction. If we focus on ways that we can recycle used products, we will also reduce the high trends of pollutants, which has been released continuously into the environment to cause harm to both man and animals.
The amount of energy and time spent on remaking a product is always lesser compared to the amount needed to make a new one entirely. This energy difference most times, too, is vast. For example.
The recycling of steel from old products saves 70% energy and aluminum – 95%. To be more precise, the amount of energy saved from producing a glass bottle can light a bulb for more than four hours.
Conservation of Resources.
The resources in the earth, the minerals, the trees, and animal products are all limited. Most of these resources take years and a lot of time to form. But it only takes nine months to make a new baby who needs milk, diapers, clothes, and other necessities. Hence, the demand for these resources is much more on the rise compared to the rate of its growth.
Recycling paper and wood will save age-long trees, we would be able to see them grow fully-fledged, and they will be able to house homeless organisms.
Recycling plastics will reduce the mining processes that eat up funds and will also reduce the littering of this material that takes 400 years to decompose.
Recycling metals will also help reduce the damage to natural habitats. Remember the grand canyons? They are no longer what they used to be. Even the beautiful cities of Nauru have become a shadow of its former glory due to phosphate mining. But these precious sites would have been preserved if we did not go digging for more.
Recycling is one of the ways we can curtail the release of carbon into the environment. Less energy means less carbon emissions, less carbon emissions means reduced global warming and reduced global warming means normalized temperature, snow, rainfall and a world of reduced food scarcity where we will not wake to a new pandemic, a locust invasion or massive death of the beautiful sea fishes.
The recent focus of recycling has been on its economic advantages. While crude ways of revenue are beginning to advance with an equal increase in waste production, a lot of other companies are already jumping on the bandwagon of the benefits of recycling to the economy. These benefits are not limited to;
Here are some facts!!
According to ISRI, 150,000 direct jobs were generated by the U.S. scrap industry, where the indirect jobs in his sector rank at about 323,000.
According to the Institute of Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), the wholesome process of removing 10,000 tons of waste only paves the way for about 6 jobs, whereas there is an x6 increase in the number of jobs if the same amount of waste were to be recycled.
Another study by friends of the earth reported over 50,000 jobs that can be created if 70% of waste can be collected for recycling purposes in the U.K., Where 30,000 of this number will be involved with the recycling process directly.
The European Union also accounted that if we recycled up to 70%, there would be over 322,000 direct recycling jobs in the 27 European Union Countries. This process will, in turn, create another 160,900 indirect and 80,400 induced jobs. That is 563,000 people with food on their table. You really should start seeing the bigger picture of your support in recycling.
Clean and affordable Energy Generation.
One of the major drives for economic growth is affordable energy. In 2014, the United States recorded 322,000 GWh of energy saved from 89 million tons of MSW (municipal solid waste). That is enough energy to light 30 million homes. This goes a long way to reduce the economic costs of generating energy anew.
Cheaper Raw materials.
Recycling products reduces their cost as raw materials. This benefit also stems from the fact that lesser energy is used in their production. Companies that understand this are already making profits like the division of American Airlines, which saved $100,000 by converting recycled paper, and these papers were no different from the non-recycled papers.
Just as mentioned, the processes in the earth have taught us to balance, and individual efforts and commitments can only achieve this balance. There are a lot of other heroic leaders that have established firms to make waste management a reality. It is left for stakeholders and individuals to key into this innovation and make our world a better place.