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Reuse, Recycle, and Compost!

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What if I told you that saving the planet can be free? Water saving shower heads and energy conserving light bulbs are just a few of the million products that you have heard of that will save the planet. And what if I also told you that saving the planet can also help the people too? Because let me tell you now, helping out the environment is free and it can also benefit the people around you.

Once you set foot in the Land of the Free, or the United States, you’ll notice the black bins, green bins, and blue bins. Foreigners may find this to be extremely confusing, but in California, the correct usage of these bins has been emphasized more than enough.

An estimate of five pounds of trash is created by each resident, each day, and employees around 11 pounds each day. Without these bins, our land would just be a trash dump. In California, alone, around 32 million tons of trash is generated per year. In China, alone, around 300 million tons of trash is generated per year. So on a worldwide scale, around 3 trillion tons of trash is generated each year. So statistically, if our trash is not dealt with, then between the years of 2150-2160, planet Earth would be covered in trash. This is why it is crucial to sort our trash.

The black bins are for trash, or landfill. We classify trash as things that cannot be reused, and is not biodegradable. Examples of trash would be metal items and the straws from our juice boxes and plastic bags. If you aren’t sure of which bin to throw things in, you should throw it in the black bin.

However, if you can, you should always avoid throwing and purchasing items that result in more items in your black bin. The blue bin is for recycling. You can throw plastic bottles, milk containers, glass, and all things paper in this bin. Later, these recyclables are hand sorted and processed to create new items that can be sold again.

Last but not least, we have the green bin. This bin is for all things compost. This includes all your food items and paper plates with food on it. All your yogurt, banana peels, broccoli, your expired dumplings, or whatever you don’t want to eat- this is the bin you need. All these foods and paper are biodegradable, so it can decompose in the soil and fill it with nutrients for other plants to grow in. Instead of plastic bags, you can use paper bags, or biobags if you want to purchase it.

This may sound complicated. Three bins? But I assure you, it’s not. All you need are three different bags! For example, you can find a table or a wall or wherever and attach three nails. Then you can hang three bags on it and voila! Your trash is sorted. Why should you have these bins? investing in future

But what happens to these bins? People have to sort through them, of course. Now, not only are you saving the planet, but you’re also providing jobs for the jobless. Now, people can work and provide for themselves. Not only that, but creating a cleaner environment will improve the climate and health for those around you, leading to less diseases and deaths per year. Not only that, but bottles and cans can be collected and sold for money, making recycling very profitable. You can choose to sell them for yourself, or you can give them to the bottle collectors, so that they can provide for themselves. And all these benefits come simply from just having three bins instead of one. Sorting trash is so easy, it comes naturally after a little while. Not only are you saving the planet, almost effortlessly, you are also helping the people around you live a little better than they used to be.

Remember that saving the planet costs you nothing, yet you’re helping the environment and the people around you. Remember to reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost! You can make a change. You can make a difference.

About Cindy Guo

Cindy is senior at Henry M. Gunn High School and is incredibly honored to be a part of the Rising Star Magazine team. She enjoys belting out Disney songs, playing piano, watching Chinese dramas, and babysitting. Cindy serves as California DECA's VP of Silicon Valley and is also the singing teacher at FCSN and the President of HEARTS Nonprofit. She can be contacted at cindy@risingstarmagazine.com

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