Marium Shaikh, Reporter

Turning water bottles into lotion bottles is a creative way to reuse products.
Photo by: Brea Jones, Photography 

By: Marium Shaikh, Reporter

Rising levels of waste in our environment create a major problem in society. For many years, people have fulfilled their needs by using Earth’s precious resources such as: coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Consequently, people are left with fewer resources and large amounts of waste. These actions have prompted many people and agencies to take action in reducing the amount of waste produced. According to the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), each person throws away over four pounds of material daily.

AP Environmental Science teacher Mr. Kris Cole feels it is incredibly important to have recyclable products for two reasons: shortage of resources and shortage of landfill spaces.

Americans generate 250 million tons of garbage a year, and some reports show over 400 million tons. The more garbage we produce, the more landfill spaces we need. The production of more and more landfills release emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that releases as biodegradable waste decomposes. Existing landfills sites fill up easily, leaving limited space for new ones. By recycling, people reduce the need to throw away materials which in turn leads to less landfill.

Recycling helps to make use of material that has already served its intended purpose by producing something that is usable in another approach. There are many benefits to recycling; its importance not only helps people, but also the planet. Altogether, recycling also creates several beneficial outcomes for the environment such as conserving raw material, saving energy, protecting the environment and reducing landfills.

Creating new products from recycled materials cuts massively down on the need to consume Earth’s resources. Recycling reduces the amount of raw materials used; it also helps to preserve natural habitats of wild animals. Using recycled materials during the manufacturing process uses much less energy than using raw materials.

According to Forest Ethics, paper production is the third most energy-intensive of all manufacturing industries, using over 12% of all energy in the industrial sector. The paper and pulp industry is also the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the manufacturing sector.

Sophomore Jessica Costley feels that “everyone should recycle and try to take better care of our environment.”

By recycling, the need to mine, quarry, log, refine and process raw materials is reduced. These processes are harmful to the environment because they create substantial air and water pollution. While recycling saves energy, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions — this helps to tackle climate change.

Costley suggests, shredding any paper or newspapers you intend on throwing away and instead using it in place of shipping peanuts.

Overall, recycling is important because it helps preserve Earth’s precious resources, save energy, mitigate global warming, reduce pollution and reduce the amount of items in landfill spaces.  Conservation is important to both the natural environment and us.

Junior Adriana Colon says, “I think everyone should encourage their friends and family to recycle more frequently. I also think it should be listed as an amendment or law because it is in our benefit to recycle and keep the Earth less populated.”