In today’s fast-paced and stressful times, the Pennsylvania environment too bears the heavy brunt of our wasteful, filthy and irresponsible behavior.
But, instead of simply whining about how dirty our air or water is, or just complaining why the government is not doing enough to protect our natural resources, we can actually make a difference by planting trees or taking care of our forests, as well as by recycling at homes, our offices and workplaces. Here’s a look at how recycling helps protect the environment.
Which Materials Are Recyclable?
Recycling refers to the process or re-processing and using used materials, into new products, Recycling helps in preventing the waste of potentially-useful materials or components, and helps in reducing air and water pollution, and aids in the lowering of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions too.
Recyclable materials come in different kinds, from paper, glass, metal, plastic, to textiles and other electronic components. Most cities and towns today have collection centers for recyclable materials, where these items are cleaned, sorted, and re-processed into new products and materials.
Recycling Reduces Contamination, As Well as The Need for New Landfills
Recycling provides a number of wonderful benefits for both man and the environment. It helps reduce the amount of garbage disposed in landfills, as well as reduces the need for building new landfills. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are over 10,000 municipal landfills, and more than 3,000 active urban landfills. Because most of today’s modern landfills are tightly sealed, to protect the environment from possible contamination, they actually inhibit the natural degradation of organic waste materials.
For example, if we recycle all of the newspapers we use, we could actually help prolong the use of each landfill, as well as save millions of trees from being cut down. Recycling also helps reduce the level of contamination of hazardous chemicals and components, which are often found in old computers, cellular phones, toys, TV monitors and other electronic products. Old computer monitors for example contain as much as eight pounds of lead.
Once these harmful substances leach into the soil and underground water, they further spread and contaminate streams, rivers, and water wells, and also taint the fish and other seafood we consume.
Recycling Helps Save Precious Natural Resources
The act of recycling, even within your own home or office, can actually help save precious natural resources. If your recycle old newspapers, junk mail, cardboard, Styrofoam and other materials, you help protect the air, and help save trees from being cut down. Recycling plastic products such as soda bottles, milk, juice and bottled water containers also lessens the need for new petroleum to make these kinds of plastic products.
To help protect the planet, here are a few simple steps that you can follow. Buy only recycled products, and avoid using fax cover sheets as copy materials. You can also print double-sided, or send electronic copies instead of paper. You can also actively promote or initiate a recycling program in your office or community.