Recycling is a topic we’ve been hearing about for ages. Think “reduce, reuse, recycle”, blue recycle bins, separating paper from plastic, and so on. But there’s a reason we keep hearing about it. In fact, the Department of Environmental Protection outlines numerous ways that recycling can benefit both you and the environment. More specifically, here’s what that looks like: Recycling can protect the environment by conserving resources and reducing pollutants. Let’s look at some noteworthy figures–and examine realistic ways to increase recycling efforts:
To put it simply, recycling conserves natural resources by reusing materials. The National Institute of Health outlines some significant statistics:
- 94% of natural resources used by Americans are non-renewable.
- 95% more energy is needed to create aluminum than is needed to recycle it.
- Recycling steel saves 60% of production energy.
- Recycling newspapers saves 40% of production energy.
- Recycling plastics saves 70% of production energy.
- Recycling glass saves 40% of production energy.
- can support healthy blood sugar levels, promote heart health, decrease inflammation, and improve bone health. You can find magnesium in seeds, beans, brown rice, and seafood.
You get the idea. Recycling takes energy–and energy costs time, money, and resources. So how can you help?
Well, you can start with what you have already in your home:
- Reuse or repurpose items. Instead of choosing single-use plastic bags at the grocery store, opt for reusable cloth bags instead. You can also repurpose jars, newspapers, plastic bags, and dryer sheets.
- Maintain and repair products. Instead of throwing away old t-shirts, consider wearing them when you repaint the living room. If you have a broken appliance, try to fix it before tossing it out.
- Share items. Do you and your roommate really need two sets of kitchenware? When you can, share items–especially those that are used infrequently. Or items like tools, furniture, and more.
Many products in your home are reusable–so the more you start reusing them, the sooner it will become second nature to do so
Recycling can make a significant impact on reducing pollution levels. For instance, research done by the University of Central Oklahoma reports that recycling everyday materials can have the following results:
- Recycling paper reduces air pollution by 73% and water pollution by 35%.
- Recycling steel reduces 97% of mining waste, air pollution by 86%, and water pollution by 76%.
- Recycling glass decreases mining waste by 80% and air pollution by 20%.
By recycling, we can significantly cut down on numerous types of pollution. So what can that look like in daily life? Here are some common paper, steel, and glass items that can be recycled:
- Paper–white office paper, cardboard, magazines, newspaper, catalogs, and phone books.
- Steel–cans, toys, tools, car parts, and aluminum.
- Glass–wine bottles, ketchup bottles, condiment jars, beverage bottles, and mason jars.
Note that these lists are by no means exhaustive. If you want more extensive information, you can find it on reputable .gov or .org websites.
At The Organic Snack Company, we take steps every day to conserve resources and reduce pollutants. From recycling office supplies to using environmentally friendly production materials, we find opportunities–large and small–to take care of the planet. Looking for more information on sustainability? Follow our blog to learn about The Organic Snack Company, recycling, conservation, and more.