Everyone knows the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Reducing and reusing are the two most important R’s, but at some point, you have an item that you can’t make use of anymore and you just have to toss it. But before you throw it in the trash, ask yourself: can it be recycled?
There are a lot of reasons to recycle if you don’t already.
Recycling paper saves water
We all know that recycling paper products saves trees, but did you know that it saves water too? For every ton of paper made from recycled scrap, about 7,000 gallons of water are conserved.
Recycling paper saves trees
There are plenty of reasons to recycle, but this one is probably our favorite! In the United States alone, we use 85.5 million tons of paper a year, of which only 22% is recycled. If we could start recycling the other 78%, we’d save almost 800 million trees a year.
Recycling paper saves power
That’s right, recycling your paper saves a lot of energy. Recycling just one ton of paper saves about 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity. When you burn coal for energy, as much of the world still does, you release about a pound of carbon dioxide for each of those kilowatt hours.
Recycling glass saves oil
Recycling just one ton of glass saves the equivalent energy of 10 gallons of oil. So not only do you make good use of your old glass, but you help conserve oil, a finite resource.
Save the cans
Recycling 1 ton of aluminum saves the equivalent energy of 2,350 gallons of gasoline. That’s about the same as the amount of energy a typical home uses in 10 years. Now that’s a powerful reason to recycle.
Landfills aren’t compost heaps
When we think of landfills, we often conjure up a false impression. Landfills are kind of like gigantic plastic tubs. When full, they cap them with plastic or concrete, interrupting the decomposition process. So recycle your food scraps by composting!
Recycling stimulates the economy while saving the Earth.
Recycling can be a complicated issue to navigate, but one thing is for sure, there are economic benefits to recycling. The more we recycle, the more jobs are created in the recycling industry. You can’t beat that!
Recycling protects wildlife
Because you’re eliminating the need for virgin materials, you also eliminate the need for a lot of mining and deforestation. This in turn has a direct impact on wildlife.
Recycling improves water quality
With less waste being thrown into landfills, the better. Landfills directly impact the water tables they are built over.
Recycling improves global health
Landfills put out some toxic, noxious gasses. Over time, exposure to those gasses can cause serious health problems, like asthma. Toxic liquids draining into water tables can also negatively impact health.