As you go through your daily routine, you may not think much about sustainability. Yet you unconsciously reuse plastic bags from the grocery and throw old magazines into the recycling bin. How much more could you do to boost sustainability if you gave this concept a little more thought?
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are the three rules of sustainability. Partly because of having experienced the pandemic and partly because of rising inflation, consumers are trying to make changes that save them money. In the past year, there has been a 27% increase in the number of people riding their bikes instead of hopping in the car to get from Point A to Point B. People are also walking more for the same reason, which accounts for the new sneakers in many a closet.
Today there is a greater awareness of concerns like global warming and the state of the environment. So, thinking about sustainability fits right in there. Interestingly, it’s sort of a generational thing in terms of importance. Baby boomers and those in the Gen X group don’t even rank climate change in their top five overall concerns. But it is high on the list for millennials and the Gen Z crowd. Baby boomers tend to make small, everyday sustainable choices such as buying products made in America. Millennials look for carbon-neutral products and avoid buying those that don’t incorporate reusable packaging.
The benefits of recycling
Remember that materials used in manufacturing so many of the products we use daily come from natural resources. Recycling helps us reduce the need for obtaining new materials. Reusing those we already have helps preserve natural resources like forests, minerals, and water. As a matter of fact, you can help protect natural resources by making as simple a change in your daily routine as using a metal or glass straw instead of paper! Waste materials that aren’t recycled emit greenhouse gasses, which contribute to the global warming problem and increase air, land, and water pollution.
What to recycle
Now that you know the three rules of sustainability—Reduce, Reuse and Recycle—you will probably think of all kinds of things that fit the description in one way or another. For example, consider all the paper products you use in your daily life, everything from paper napkins to typing paper. Then you have plastics, which are not biodegradable, so they don’t break down if you throw them into the landfill. You can recycle plastics along with glass, aluminum, steel, and copper.
Batteries will release toxic materials into the environment if not recycled—and here is where Urban E Recycling comes in. We will gladly take your used batteries. We also recycle printers, cell phones, DVD players, VCRs, routers, and much more, including your old laptop. And we do it for free. Experience tells us that the deeper you get into the various forms of sustainability, such as recycling, the more interested you are in finding new ways to help the planet and humankind, whether you’re a baby boomer, a Gen Z member, or anything in between.