Reducing, Reusing, Recycling
Are you doing your part for the betterment of our environment? Start small by sticking to the basics of recycling and you’ll be on your way to being an advocate for a better tomorrow
Recycling may seem like a tedious process, but it really isn’t that difficult and should actually be something everyone does without hesitation. The first thing to keep in mind is the basic separation of the main items that can be recycled — paper, plastic, aluminium and glass. We should all cultivate the habit of recycling every sustainable item that is no longer of use.
While I’m nowhere close to being a green person myself, I’ve learnt a few tricks, which the whole family can follow easily. Try some of them yourself. Though you may not see the immediate effects of recycling immediately, be assured that you’ll be doing your part to contribute to a better future. Recycling paper means landfills don’t get filled up too quickly, but that doesn’t mean the environment doesn’t suffer. Paper can only be recycled a certain number of times before the fibres break down. It is said that of the 17 billion cubic feet of timber harvested globally, over 60 per cent is used for paper production. Simply put, the more paper we recycle, the less trees get chopped down.
Besides the usual recycling at home and office, there are other ways to reduce your paper usage.yes, sticky notes are nice but they’re made of paper; pin scrap paper on a corkboard instead.think twice before you print as we live in an age of technology (apps, smart phones) where information is so easily stored.
Food for thought – at the rate of deforestation today, it will take less than 100 years to destroy the rainforests of the world.
It’s depressing to see how much plastic we use and how carelessly it’s disposed of. Plastic isn’t biodegradable (broken down by microorganisms into organic matter), and they end up in landfills, potentially leaking pollutants into the soil and water. Millions of tonnes of plastic also end up in our oceans every year and have terrible effects on everything from sea life to coral reefs, eventually even ending up in the food chain.
The easiest way to alleviate this problem is to drastically reduce plastic consumption and even the smallest change in habit, such as using reusable shopping bags, bringing a lunch box for your takeaways, buying in bulk using your own recycled containers, using cloth diapers and opting for products in paper containers instead of plastic, can make a difference.
Aluminium and Glass
When you recycle aluminium and glass, you’re saving more than 90 per cent of the energy that is needed to make new glass or extract metals from ore. In fact, recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a TV for one and a half hours. Glass can be recycled over and over again and it’s a relatively simple process of melting it down and remoulding to make new bottles, while aluminium melts at a low temperature and is, therefore, also very easy to recycle.
While Malaysia still has a long way to go to reach international recycling standards, there has been an upsurge in environmental concern, leading to local councils in certain areas setting up recycling bins. So, be sure to note where the nearest one is in your neighbourhood.