Recycling & Composting
Consumer recycling & Composting are the backbone of the population’s efforts to reduce pollution and reverse negative, global climate change escalated by human civilization’s impact on the planet.
A Short History of Recycling & Composting
When recycling and composting first came into the societal mainstream a few decades ago, the population was hesitant to embrace this solution to combat the negative effects of global climate change. These reservations were compounded by the inconvenience that many communities experienced implementing the new system. Few cities had curb-side pickup and many recycling centers still expected consumers to sort their waste, a task few were willing to undertake. Likewise, composting was an arduous process that individuals seldom completed on a routine basis. Now however, recycling and composting are encouraged, facilitated, and in some cases mandated by local and regional governments.
Benefits of Recycling & Composting
The ecological and societal benefits of Recycling and Composting are myriad, both in terms of immediate effect and long term environmental health. Many consumers fall into the trap of thinking along these lines: There are over 6 billion people on the planet, and most environmental impact is caused by government or large corporations. What benefit can my one weekly bin of recycling and compost have?’ True, that one person’s contribution to reducing pollution cannot be perceived on this scale, but if every person on the planet were to embrace a mindset of conservation, the impact would be enormous.
Below are some of the most important benefits of household recycling:
- Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
- Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
- Reduces pollution by limiting the need to collect new raw materials
- Saves energy
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
And household composting:
- Enriches soil
- Re-mediates contaminated soil
- Prevents pollution
- Saves energy
Individual Impact: The Next Steps
Public Service Announcement slogans such as Recycle, Reduce, Reuse’ may now seem trite and outdated, but their message is even more important than it was thirty years ago. With the global population increasing at an astounding (some would say terrifying’) rate, the impact that individual contributions can make on our environment is also increasing. Likewise, the negative effects generated as a result of ignoring these simple principles are also multiplying.
Here are some things that you, as an individual citizen, can do to reduce pollution and minimize your environmental footprint and maximize your benefit to our planet:
- Educate yourself on environmental issues using the multitude of literature available on the internet.
- Participate in curbside recycling and composting programs.
- If your local municipality does not have these programs, research them and petition your elected officials to implement this crucial infrastructure.
- Purchase product made from recycled or repurposed materials.
- Reuse items in your home for a second purpose.
- Limit the amount of consumer products you purchase to things you absolutely need.
- Donate non-recyclables (i.e. clothes) to organizations such as the Salvation Army that can make use of them
Recycling and Composting are of growing importance each year. Do your part to help maintain our planet.