Recycling The Three Rs for Your Recycling Needs

Recycling tips

In an Inconvenient Truth, the narrator, former vice president and presidential candidate Al Gore, took viewers on a journey into the effects of global warming–that we were in fact harming our planet by continuing harmful practices that included greenhouse emissions, pollution, old energy like coal, and even our wasteful consumption of goods.

It is this last part that concerns this article. It is difficult to imagine what previous generations would think when they see how Americans and other first world nations consume products and discard them as if they had little significance.

While many countries and cities within the countries have started “greener” and “more sustainable” culture, there still is a widespread use and misuse of products that could, in any other way, be turned into good use. There are many examples of individuals who are inspiring others to take into account our consumption problems.

It’s just a matter of listening to what they have to say.

Over 87% of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs. This is not even touching on the sheer amount of programs Americans have for other recycling programs. Glass bottles, piles of cardboard, paper bags, all are possibilities.

In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times the amount of his or her adult weight in garbage. This is in spite of the fact that there are many options for recycling material, all of which can be located online.

The truth is, the average person generates over four pounds of trash per day. Those are glass bottle, plastic jugs, take out food boxes, food that is not eaten, food that has gone rotten, paper towels dispensers, wrappers for candy, and much much more. Four pounds is a lot of trash.

The study of how to deal with waste is called waste management and it encompasses up to 20 industries. For consumers, the subject is reduced down to the waste hierarchy, which refers to the “3 Rs”–reduce, reuse, and recycle. These classify waste management strategies according to their desirability in terms of waste minimization.

The option to reduce waste plays the highest role in terms of waste reduction in a society. The goal with waste reduction is simple: reduce as much waste as possible, by using any number of techniques that can be applied daily.

That means reducing the amount of plastic bags needed to carry groceries. That means reducing the amount of tissue paper used. That means taking into account the number of cans of food you’re buying and even more importantly, the amount of food you’re throwing out. It means to take a lot into account and always look for ways to reduce weight.

Then there is the second ‘R’–reuse. Reuse may seem like a difficult topic. But consider this. Instead of throwing away those plastic bags you get from the grocery store, consider reusing them for other purposes–including packaging, picking up cat litter, carrying objects or storing them. There are other possibilities as well.

There are limitless ways someone can reuse goods. Take the idea of food for instance. Instead of throwing away food that has not been eaten, find a way to reuse it for the next meal. In society, this is often called “leftovers.” It’s a great way to minimize food issues and to reuse food instead of throwing it out.

The third ‘R’ is more simple–recycling. Recycling simply means taking a certain number of goods (labeled recyclable) and taking them to a recycling center or putting them out on a curb. Recyclable goods include glass bottles, brown paper bags, cardboard, and more. Here are some recycling tips to think about.

Recycling Tips 1

Always check the bottom of the material to see if it’s recyclable. Certain materials are generally going to cut it–paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum. But if you look for the recycling sign, certain items may surprise you.

Recycling Tips 2

Make it a daily habit to put recyclable goods in either the recycling container as some municipalities provide or to create a special location and container for material that you can take later on to the recycling center.

Recycling Tips 3

Never hesitate to call your local government body to see what materials are recyclable or not or to even find a location of a recycling center.

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