Recycle: A Naturalist's Take

Recycling is a great first step toward helping the environment.

Because resources on this planet are limited, and a lot of energy goes into finding and extracting these resources, it is better to use resources that have already been attained.

Recycling objects that can be recycled is as simple as throwing an object into a different trash can, usually the blue one. Things like aluminum, glass, paper, and plastic are all things that can be broken down and made into new things. As easy as it may seem, there is still a large amount of recyclable material that is just thrown away and ends up in the landfill. Some people don’t know about recycling, some people just don’t care, and some communities don’t provide a way to make recycling easy enough for these groups of people.

I once lived in a community that didn’t provide any recycling bins, only a big dumpster for everything. I would have to load all my recycling into my car and take it to a recycling facility a ways away. I know that most people in that community did not put forth that much effort, and thus it all went into that big dumpster.

The community I currently live in actually came to my door and gave me a free blue trash can to put my recyclables in, and comes by weekly to collect them and bring them to recycling facilities. This makes it a lot easier, and thus more people participate. And when more people participate, less resources get wasted by being thrown in the landfill.

A new profession of landfill miners has emerged in recent years. These are people who excavate recyclable items from landfills to recycle them. If our resources are depleted, this might be a way to obtain and recycle those lost resources. Reusing items and reducing consumption are even better ways to preserve these resources, but I’ll save these topics for future blogs.