Recycling is so easy to do and really takes little effort these days. Some trash collecting companies even offer free recycling bins to customers who live within city limits. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of recycling paper, plastic, glass, electronics, and aluminum, then start small with only one type of recycling. For instance, use a cardboard box or inexpensive trash can solely for paper items. If you don’t have the option to recycle from home, pick one or two days per month to visit a local recycling center while you’re running errands on the weekend. To find a recycling center near you, visit Earth911.com (one of my favorite websites, which also sends out fantastic weekly newsletters).
If you’re still skeptical about recycling, here are a few great reasons to make a little extra effort to hold on to that plastic bottle until you find a recycling container, rather than chunking it into the trash because it’s what is convenient in that moment.
Top 10 Reasons to Recycle
1. Good For Our Economy. American companies rely on recycling programs to provide the raw materials they need to make new products.
2. Creates Jobs. Recycling in the U.S. is a $236 billion a year industry. More than 56,000 recycling and reuse enterprises employ 1.1 million workers nationwide.
3. Reduces Waste. The average American discards seven and a half pounds of garbage every day. Most of this garbage goes into to landfills, where it’s compacted and buried.
4. Good For The Environment. Recycling requires far less energy, uses fewer natural resources, and keeps waste from piling up in landfills.
5. Saves Energy. Recycling offers significant energy savings over manufacturing with virgin materials. (Manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95% less energy.)
6. Preserves Landfill Space. No one wants to live next door to a landfill. Recycling preserves existing landfill space.
7. Prevents Global Warming. In 2000, recycling of solid waste prevented the release of 32.9 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE, the unit of measure for greenhouse gases) into the air.
8. Reduces Water Pollution. Making goods from recycled materials generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials.
9. Protects Wildlife. Using recycled materials reduces the need to damage forests, wetlands, rivers and other places essential to wildlife.
10. Creates New Demand. Recycling and buying recycled products creates demand for more recycled products, decreasing waste and helping our economy.
Thanks to the National Recycling Coalition for the great facts.