Recycle this, recycle that. Everyone has heard by now that we must recycle everything we can to save the earth. But is that really true? A plastic grocery bag takes 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. If that one little bag takes that long, consider your mall shopping bags, your trash bags. There is a growing industry in recycling, taking one thing and making it another. Old tires are shredded and used as playground tread. Grocery bags are remanufactured into clothing. These are examples of the economical aspect of recycling.
Lemore, California started a rigid recycling program 15 years ago. The residents were required to comply or face fines. Recycling has taken this rural town and provided new playgrounds, a water park, and funded municipal endeavors such as the police department, fire house, and pre-school funding. This is the power of recycling.
If you think that you are only one person, what difference could you possibly make? Consider this...if we ALL made the effort, our landfills would be smaller, there would be less waste, funding from recycling could help cash strapped communities.
There is a Native American prayer my wife once gave me. It says,"May the footprints we leave behind show that we've walked in kindness toward the earth and every living thing. May our lives be a dance of celebration, and may the wind speak of peace to all our children's children." If you won't consider it for yourself, think of future generations that will have to deal with our waste.
- Plastic grocery bag = 1,000 years in a landfill
- Disposable diaper = 400 years
- Aluminum cans = 500 years
- Milk Jugs = 500 years
- Glass Jar = up to 1 million years
- Styrofoam = possibly never- think of your take out containers, your daily java fix
In order to facilitate decomposition in landfills, oxygen is needed to aerate the trash. A simple banana peel can last up to 40 years in a landfill without proper aeration. Recycling in EVERY household can reduce our waste by up to half.
Try it, it just might save the planet.
Joshua Vadney has always been interested in "being green" and has started his own web page with tips for saving money while having a lower impact on the environment.
I hope this article has helped convince you to institute a recycling program in your own home.