RecyclingWhy do we recycle?

Introduction

Have you ever heard of diaphanous? If not, that's totally fine! It means almost translucent or transparent, if you want to know. But do you know what the word recycle is/means? Now, if you do not know it, then you need to know this before you read this! This is very vital information if you want to continue on reading, or even continue in lifeRecycling, according to dictionary.com means to treat or process used material to make it suitable for reuse. If you don't understand that, it basically means to reuse things and sometimes you have to do a process to reuse it. For an example, if you want to make a bench out of plastic, it has to go through some fancy process with machines and such to make it. It's almost giving another life and purpose for trash.

Do you know those "keep calm" signs? There's even one about recycling!

What can we recycle?

The first thing I want to show you of how you should care about recycling is what you could recycle? I'm pretty sure you've heard of recycling paper, but did you know that you can recycle so much more materials? The benefits that come with it?

Plastic

That's a lot of water bottles!
• Americans throw away about 2.5 million bottles every hour
• When you recycle 5 plastic bottles, that's enough to make fiber for 1 square ft. of carpet or to fill a ski jacket
• Recycling 1 ton of plastic bottles saves the same number of energy usage that a two people household can use for a year

Still not convinced? I'll also put some numbers in! Don't worry, I'll do the math for you! Now, since Americans throw away 2.5 million bottles every hour, let's see what could of been made if they didn't. Now let's do the math. 2,500,000 (how many bottles are being thrown away in a hour) divided by 5 (because you need 5 plastic bottles to make 1 square ft. of carpet and to fill a ski jacket) is 500,000 square ft. of carpet or 500,000 ski jackets that could've been made. In a hour! Now, let's bring this up a level. That was just 1 hour. There are 24 hours in a day. You would multiply 500,000 (how much square ft. of carpet and ski jackets you could make in 1 hour) with 24 because they are 24 hours in a full day. That would be 12,000,000 square ft. of carpet and how many ski jackets that could've been made. In a day! Isn't it great? Just some math with science mixed together.

Cans

Yep, soda/pop/coke cans are counted as aluminum cans! After you drink it, make sure you recycle!
• An average person have the opportunity recycle 25,000 cans in their life
• Recycling 1 aluminum can, can save enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours
• Americans use about 100 millions steel cans and 200 million aluminum beverage cans every day

Now let's plug in numbers for the cans. There are about 7 billion people living on this earth. Since an average person can recycle 25,000 cans in their life, let's multiply 7,000,000,000 with 25,000, which would equal 175,000,000,000,000 (175 trillion) aluminum cans that people could recycle. Hm... still not persuaded by those zeroes in the back? Let's add in some entertainment. TV! Since 1 aluminum can, can save enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours, we would multiply 175,000,000,000,000 by 3. That would equal 525,000,000,000,000 (525 trillion) hours of TV. Great, huh? This is such a good cause you could defiantly make yourself feel good about in your life.

Paper

One of the many things you could do with paper! Origami!
• Americans throw away as much office paper each year that it can make a 12 foot-high wall that goes along for 2,852 miles (and a new one every year)
• Recycling a 3-foot stack of newspaper saves a tree

Wow, now you really know how much paper can save a tree!

Glass

Look at what cool things you could do from recycling! You can turn these old jars into beautiful, blue-flowered candles!

Wow, never knew that you could recycle glass, huh? And look at how beneficial it is!

• It can be recycled and remanufactured as many times as you want (infinite) and never wear out
• Recycling 1 glass jar is enough electricity to power an 11 watt CFL light bulb for 20 hours
• More than 28 billions of glass jars and bottles are being emptied in the landfills every year, which is the same amount of filling 2 Empire State Buildings every 3 weeks

Cardboard

Giver another life to this adorable box!
• Recycling cardboard only needs 75% of energy, the energy used to make new cardboard
• Recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil

Look at how much oil we could save! Look at how this could affect the environment. There would be less pollution and a great way to save oil.

Food Waste

This trash can is overflowing with food you could've eaten! Did you know that we are wasting \$1 TRILLION U.S. dollars from lost or wasted food in production and consumption systems?
• Almost half of the food in the U.S. goes to waste- which is about 3,000 pounds of food going to waste per second
• Food scraps make up close to 12% of city/town solid waste that is generated in the U.S.

Do you see how much food we are wasting? How much food that could've gone to hungry mouths? There are 13 million kids that live in households that lack nutritious food. That is 259,200,000 pounds of food that could've gone into hungry mouths in a day! Now, let's make that a year. 94,608,000,000 pounds of food being wasted in a year. Just that much. And that is only in America! What about internationally? (If you want to learn more about food waste and how to prevent it click on this link.

How does this affect the environment?

Next, I would like to talk about the environment. This is very important. To the "animal lovers", yes, this does include animals, so stay tuned. The environment means your surroundings, basically. Don't you like the place you live in? If you don't, imagine that you are at the most beautiful natural environment in the world. Keep thinking about your certain environment. Now, all of a sudden, there is trash littered all over the ground/water. Soon, the sky dims to a dark shade of grey and you see animals being trapped... and you being trapped. This is what would've happened if we didn't recycle. The earth would already be littered with billions of pounds of trash. Did you know that:

• Making glass from recycled materials reduce things that cause water pollution by 50% (that's half, by the way)
• More than 30 million trees are cut down to produce a year’s supply of newspapers

That is 90 million feet of newspaper. No offense, but who on earth reads the newspapers these days? Not much, since we have electronic devices to learn about the news.

• A ton of paper that is made from recycled paper saves; 7,000 gallons of water, around 17-31 trees, and 60 pounds of air pollutants

Recycling that much paper could save 31 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and 60 pounds of air pollutants! Now, that's not much compared to how many people are in the world. 7,000,000,000(people) > 2,000, I mean, look at those zeroes! Every 3.5 million people can just recycle one pound of paper and you could save this much.

This poor deer has a bag over its head.

How does recycling affect humans?

Furthermore, if you're not one with nature, and you're one who thinks about the future, this is very important. Listen up! If we have never recycled, the earth would probably be filled, leaving no gap, of it's former, glorious form. Think about your kids. Do you want them to live in a trash-filled world? If you're the person that wants to save money, here are some economical facts of why to recycle:

• When U.S. recycling levels reach 75% it will generate 1.5 million new jobs in the U.S.

The last time the global survey was attempted, there were 100 million homeless people. Now, people can try to get a job and earn money. 1.5 million new jobs! That's a lot!

• When more people recycle, the cheaper it gets

The cost of picking up and transporting recyclables can range from \$20 to \$70 per ton. Obviously, it would get cheaper. For an instance, the more people buy that product, the cheaper it's going to get because it's not really worth that much anymore. Everyone has it, it becomes a common item.

• A good-running recycling program costs less than operating waste collection, landfilling and incineration

Now, have you ever thought of burning trash? That is an utterly terrible idea! When you burn trash, it generates more pollution and post-combustion ash, which usually is usually contained in assorted heavy metals.

Have no idea what to do to recycle? For an example, instead of buying those fancy compost you find in the store, you can just use leaves and grass. It's basically the same. It's a win-win situation. You are recycling and you are saving money.

Here is a landfill. Isn't it just great?

Conclusion

People argue that recycling has no point and no use in life. We will have too much trash that it will just over power us. I really thought about it for a second. Is recycling really... pointless? If you think like this, you are losing hope in society, in the world. Picture in your head a cavemen. It has used all natural things in it's life. Clothing might be a pelt and your home is a, well, cave! Now let's wind the timeline back to our society. We have been experimenting with chemicals, weapons, new technology, etc. We have made unnatural things that we use a lot, like plastic. If we keep reusing all those unnatural things, it won't harm the environment and go into landfills. Trash is biodegradable- which means that it is very slow to decompose... but still. It still decomposes. The world is widely affected by humans. We were the ones that have caused this mess, so we have to fix it.

Earth Day is a day to remind us that we should help the environment! Here is a cute picture!

Credits:

Created with images by stevendepolo - "Plastic Water Bottles Mountain Ice Hunger Takes Flight KFB May 20, 20107" • byrev - "aluminum can coca" • georigami - "Eric Gjerde's Twist Star (without the twist)" • crabchick - "6449 Shirehampton Craft Fair 2011" • Dangel099 - "danby toy statuette" • USDAgov - "Fresh Food In Garbage Can To Illustrate Waste" • Pexels - "disposal dump garbage"

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