Recycle this, recycle that. Everyone has heard by now that we must recycle everything we can to save the earth. But is that really true? A plastic grocery bag takes 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. If that little bag takes that long, consider your mall shopping bags, your garbage bags. There is a growing recycling industry that takes one thing and turns it into another. Old tires are shredded and used as a tread on the playground. Shopping bags are transformed into clothes. These are examples of the economics of recycling.
Lemore, California, started a rigid recycling program 15 years ago. Residents had to comply or face fines. Recycling has taken over this rural town and provided new playgrounds, a water park, and funded municipal initiatives such as the police department, fire station, and preschool funding. This is the power of recycling.
If you think you are just one person, what difference could it make? Consider this … if we ALL made the effort, our landfills would be smaller, there would be less waste, recycling funding could help cash-strapped communities.
There is a Native American prayer my wife gave me once. He says: “May the footprints we leave show that we have walked with goodness towards the earth and all living beings. May our lives be a dance of celebration and may the wind speak of peace to all the children of our children.” If you don’t consider it for yourself, think about future generations who will have to deal with our waste.
Plastic grocery bag = 1,000 years in a landfill
Disposable diaper = 400 years
Aluminum cans = 500 years
Milk jugs = 500 years
Glass jar = up to 1 million years
Styrofoam = Possibly Never – Think Your Take Out Containers, Your Daily Java Solution
To facilitate decomposition in landfills, oxygen is needed to aerate the garbage. A simple banana peel can last up to 40 years in a landfill without proper aeration. Recycling in EVERY home can cut our waste by up to half.
Give it a try, it could save the planet.