In a world where we’re faced with dwindling natural resources, overflowing landfills and plastic in our oceans, recycling has become almost second nature.
Recycling may have become a way of life – but why exactly do we recycle? Why is recycling good for the environment? What are the benefits of recycling? What are the benefits of recycling paper, specifically? What are the benefits of recycling metals? Who does it benefit, and how? Are there any direct benefits to you?
Discover the answers with our list of 10 benefits of recycling.
Why is recycling good for the environment?
Recycling isn’t just good for the environment – it’s essential. Every year on April 22, the world celebrates Earth Day in order to raise awareness of environmental issues. But while we only celebrate this day once a year, we should strive to recycle all year round.
Simply put, recycling is one of the most effective ways to protect and conserve the natural world we live in. By reusing old materials, we save the energy it would have taken to create new ones.
What are the benefits of recycling?
Don’t waste good waste! Here are 10 reasons to recycle:
- Preserve the world’s natural resources: The Earth’s natural resources are finite. Recycling preserves valuable natural resources for the good and longevity of the planet. It also ensures we can continue to live the way we are accustomed to.
- Protect the world’s wildlife: The more we recycle, the less we need to disrupt and damage the natural world, including habitats. If fewer forests are being cut down and fewer rivers are being diverted, less wild animals are being harmed or displaced in the process.
- Protect the world’s people: In the search for new materials, it is often the poorest and most vulnerable people who end up being displaced from their homes. Communities living around forests or river systems can find themselves evicted in the search for cheap timber.
- Keep plastic out of the oceans:If plastic waste isn’t safely recycled, it can be blown or washed into rivers and oceans, where it can harm wildlife and pollute coastlines and waterways. Recycling plastic safeguards our health and major food sources, and protects wildlife in their natural environment.
- What are the benefits of recycling metals?: Recycling metal means there is less need for expensive, dangerous and harmful extraction of new materials. Aluminium is generally considered to be a metal – see number 6 to find out: what the benefits of recycling aluminium are.
- What are the benefits of recycling aluminium?: Making products from recycled materials requires less energy than creating them from raw materials. Sometimes the difference is immense, for example producing new aluminium from recycled cans and foil uses 95% less energy than starting from scratch.
- What are the benefits of recycling paper?: Trees take years to grow but can be chopped down in just minutes. That’s why planting new trees isn’t enough – we also need to recycle. Making paper from pulped recycled paper uses 40% less energy than creating paper from virgin wood fibres.
- Create new jobs: Recycling has created a wealth of new jobs, in the recycling industry itself and in manufacturing. Some stores contain entire lines of merchandise made from recycled goods, showcasing the benefits of recycling at a more local level.
- Save money: Let’s move away from the wider benefits of recycling and focus on the direct benefits to you and your family. Upcycling furniture, recycling old fabrics into throws and tablecloths, shopping at second hand stores, reusing containers, using food scraps as compost – these are all great ways to recycle and save money.
- Feel good!: Simply put, doing good makes you feel good. Save the planet, be happy.
While recycling is a great way to reduce to amount of waste we produce, the best thing we can do is to reduce how much we use in the first place. Reduce, reuse, recycle – if everyone did this, imagine the impact we could have on the wellbeing of our planet?