The Importance of Recycling on the Environment
When it comes to protecting our world and making sure that we are able to enjoy it and all it has to offer for a long time, nothing helps out as much as recycling paper. Our country goes through thousands of sheets of paper or more a day and if most of these are getting thrown away, that means that all that waste is leading to more trees being cut down, more harmful emissions, and a lot of harm on our environment that could be prevented if we just chose to recycle paper.
Some of the issues that come up when we decide to not recycle our paper and we just let it all get thrown in the trash include:
- The more paper that we use up, the more demand there is for wood and the wood pulp. This means that whole forests, and therefor ecosystems, are started to fail as trees are being cut down and transferred into managed plantations. The lack of diversity in tree species also changes the whole biodiversity of the forest, making it easier for the trees to get sick and harder for animals to have a home.
- When we use waste paper to produce some of the new paper that we need, the problem is reduced by quite a bit.
- When we use recycled paper to produce some new paper, it will end up taking about 70 percent less energy than virgin paper plus less water is used. Most of the energy that is placed into making new paper is from turning the pulp into paper, and when you take this out of the equation, it saves energy.
- When you choose to use recycled paper to make some new paper, you are able to produce fewer emissions of pollutants. Recycled paper is not re-bleached and in the few places it is, you will see that they use oxygen instead of the harmful chlorine. This will reduce the damage that these chemicals can put on the environment.
- When the paper goes into the landfill, it is going to rot and produce methane gas, which is more than 20 times more potent that the harmful carbon dioxide that we hear about all the time. When you recycle the paper instead of throwing it into the garbage, you are able to reduce the amount of methane gas emissions.
The numbers are astounding for what you are able to do with just a bit of paper. With just 1 ton of paper, you can save more than 30,000 liters of water and at least 3000 kWh of electricity (enough to power a three-bedroom house for a year). This doesn’t mean that your small contribution isn’t going to help. When you and a few other companies or individuals come together to recycle, it isn’t going to take long before you are able to get a huge amount of recycle paper and save the environment from a lot of wasted gas, energy, water, and more.