Submitted by Eileen Guo
We’ve heard a lot about recycling. Recycling starts with our used bottles, paper, glass, etc., and these items are all hand sorted and recreated into new items. Does that mean we can still buy as much as we used to, but just recycle them instead? The answer is no.
Recyclable items can only be recycled, oh so many times. After that, that recycled item will no longer be able to be created into a new item for the fibers will be to weak to combine. Paper items can only be recycled six times before it becomes absolutely useless. This implies that we should purchase the least amount of plastic/glass we can. An easy solution to this problem is to just avoid purchasing what you don’t need.
For example, in the cleaner lands of the Silicon Valley, we can just drink tap water instead of buying bottled water. After all, 40% of bottled water is actually tap water! Instead of wasting all that plastic, you can get free water from your kitchen sink. Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles each hour, and most of them are thrown away! Buying less means that you throw away less- especially when you throw it out incorrectly. Plastic trash kills around 1,000,000 sea animals per year. Glass bottles that are left laying out take about 4000 years to decompose! So if you don’t want to responsibility to throw away things properly, then you might as well not purchase them.
This is just to emphasize how important recycling is, but also the importance of how we need to be resourceful.