Recycling is the act of turning something old or used into something new. The recycling of glass, paper, aluminum, plastic and green waste has been going on for years. We are now starting to recycle items such as computers, mattresses, tetra packaging, tires and almost any product you can think of. Recycling is one of the keys to a sustainable future. But how exactly does recycling your old newspapers and milk bottles help the environment?
There are some obvious benefits to the environment when we recycle our waste products. One being that less of our rubbish ends up in landfills and littered around the streets which ultimately ends up in the ocean. This prevents animals from eating and getting caught in the rubbish. It also means less land needs to be cleared to make way for garbage dumps. Recycling prevents habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, and the soil erosion that is associated with logging and mining, leaving the environment in its natural state. Recycling products such as paper means that fewer trees need to be cut down to meet the paper demands of the world. Every ton of paper recycled is 17 less trees that are cut down. By recycling we conserve our natural resources such as timber, water and minerals making sure that in years to come we have these resources to use and enjoy.
Recycling waste also lowers the energy output that is required to produce new products. This means that less green house gases and waste by-products are being added to the environment. It takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to make it from raw materials. Making recycled steel saves 60% of the energy required to make new steel. There is a 40% energy saving on creating recycled newspaper as compared to new newspaper. Recycled plastics save up to 70% of energy while recycled glass saves 40%.Recycling this material is therefore much more energy efficient than incinerating or dumping the products. Recycling benefits the environment by creating a net reduction in ten major categories of air pollutants and eight major categories of water pollutants.
Remember every little bit of recycling helps. In one year it is said that Stanford University, saved the equivalent of 33,913 trees and the need for 636 tons of iron ore, coal, and limestone by recycling. You can help save and conserve our environment too.