Do you ever tell yourself when you’re about to throw away a glass jar “it’s only one jar; I don’t feel like cleaning it out.” The problem with that line of thinking is that if everyone thought that way (which sadly there are a lot who do), the planet suffers.
Of all discarded items in homes and businesses across the United States, only 5% to 6% were recycled in 2021. Most people do not realize how much is actually recyclable. A vast amount of trash can be recycled. Recyclable materials commonly include batteries, biodegradable waste, clothing, electronics, glass, metal, paper/cardboard, plastics, and more. Although, different materials require different techniques when recycled.
In addition to waste management, recycling makes a sustainability impact. For example, everyone knows paper comes from trees and trees are being cut down to produce paper. By recycling it, we can help lessen the number of trees that are cut down, which in turn gives the planet more oxygen. Products made from raw materials that come from our natural resources should be recycled so that we can help preserve the environment.
Another reason to recycle is that it helps to save energy. It takes less energy to process recycled materials than to process virgin materials. Saving energy also has its own benefits like decreasing pollution. This creates less stress on our health and our economy.
Here is the reality of the situation. According to a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2015, the average American consumes 167 bottles of water each year. Of those bottles, only 12% of those reach a recycling center. This is about 4.4 lbs. of waste from plastic water bottles alone per person in the United States every year.
It is also important to know that there is an area in the Northern Pacific Ocean called “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” This patch is twice the size of Texas and is mostly made up of fishing gear, bottles, bags, and other man-made products that do not break down easily or at all. This debris is constantly moving, causing the plastic to break down into smaller pieces, making it even more difficult to detect and remove. The larger pieces entangle marine life and stifle the growth of plants. The smaller, broken-down plastics are a choking hazard and poison risk.
Stanford University says: “When a material is a source reduced (i.e., less of the material is made), the greenhouse gas emissions associated with making the material and managing the post-consumer waste are avoided. In addition, when paper products are source reduced, trees that would otherwise be harvested are left standing and continue to grow, removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.” So keep the planet clean. Reduce, reuse, and recycle!
Your responsibility does not end at your curb on trash day. Here is a list of ways you can help even more.
*Always encourage friends, family, and co-workers to participate in recycling.
*Contact your favorite companies to find out if they recycle, if not inspire them to.
*Use rags to clean the house and newspaper to wash windows instead of paper towels.
*Use cloth napkins instead of paper or paper towels.
*Support companies that use recycled materials, called voting with your dollars.
*Re-purpose materials for crafts and artwork.
*Opt for non-plastic alternatives, such as boxed water or laundry detergent strips.
Irene’s Myomassology Institute is a nationally accredited massage therapy school located in Southfield, Michigan. Scholarships and Financial Aid are available for qualified students to help them pay school tuition. Our students graduate with a state license prepared for a successful career as a massage therapist. Irene’s lifetime job placement services maintain an abundance of massage career opportunities for our alumni. Irene’s student massage clinic provides affordable massage to the public at discounted prices for seniors and veterans. Irene’s massage supply store equips massage therapists with the necessities to manage a successful career.