Recycling to Preserve Our Environment

Recycling to Preserve Our Environment
Many people assume that the environment is not in danger. They believe that as technology advances, we do not need to worry about renewing natural resources, recycling, and finding new ways to produce energy. They state that one person in the world does not make a large difference. In reality, each individual?s contribution greatly affects our environment. Our natural resources are slowly disappearing, and we must work together to save them and the Earth from ruin.
Recycling is important in the effort to preserve our environment for future generations. We are running out of locations to put landfills. Recycling is a simple and effective way to reduce the amount of waste stored in landfills, yet many people do not know how easy it can be. For example, whenever I go to Shoprite? and I bring home the groceries, I do not just throw away the plastic bags. Instead, I save them and use them as trash bags for the small trashcan in my room. It seems like a small, insignificant action, but the way I see it, I save money on trash bags while getting a second use out of the plastic bags. Some people would just throw away the bags and buy new trash bags, but doing that would send double the plastic bags to be filled in a landfill.
Another simple way to reduce landfill size and preserve resources is to refill water bottles. By refilling water bottles, people save a considerable amount of energy and natural resources by not having to purchase single serve bottles, which are made of nonrenewable petroleum. Additionally, the plastic manufacturing process is associated with toxic byproducts. Most people are reluctant to refill their water bottles because they assume that tap water is not as ?clean? as bottled water. That is a common misconception, however. In 2000, a study in The Archives of Family Medicine compared 57 samples of bottled water to the tap water in Cleveland and found that while 39 samples of the bottled water were cleaner than tap, more than a dozen had at least 10 times the bacterial levels found in the city?s water. Tap water is often better regulated than bottled water and has to meet more stringent health standards at both the federal and local levels.
According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protections (njdep) Solid Waste Management Plan SectionB.1., ?Source Reduction is the first tier of the solid waste management hierarchy. The term describes those activities that decrease the amount (weight or volume) or toxicity of waste entering the solid waste stream. It also encompasses those activities that increase product durability, reusability and reparability.? In other words, recycling is the first step to obtaining and preserving a healthier environment, and it is not difficult. Actions such as reusing plastic grocery bags or refilling water bottles can greatly reduce the amount of waste being dumped in a landfill and preserve our precious natural resources.

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