Recycling important for more than environment

Megaphone Staff

Our recent presidential election has reminded many voters of important topics neglected since the last campaign season. Primary among these were the environment and economy. Although these issues are often discussed, never are they more debated than during a prominent political event.

Huffington Post reported that, not surprisingly, the economy was the greatest concern Americans held. In fifth place was the environment.

Yet despite diminished support, environmental risks continue to rise. The Guardian reported that carbon dioxide emissions are a historic high at 395.5 parts per million and species’ extinction rate is 100 times larger than in the past.

This and other data indicate that our activity is driving our world to an environment unable to sustain human life. But there is a simple, no-excuses measure that every person can take to prevent or at least reduce these effects.


Each year, about 900 million trees are cut for paper, according to CBS. Those trees provide enough oxygen for more than 100 million people in one year. Deforestation also contributes to the extinction of 137 species of animals every day.

Rain forests require thousands of years to form. However, every second a football field sized portion of a rain forest is destroyed.

By recycling paper, we reduce the amount of deforestation, increase clean oxygen in our atmosphere and assist in the preservation of species. One simple act can help save our planet.

Human are using up to 50 percent more natural resources than the Earth creates for us. At the rate we are producing and consuming these resources, we need 1.5 planet Earths, according to Youth Connect. This does not take into account a growing population.

However, many Americans are too concerned with the economy to worry themselves with their environment as well.

According to Stanford University, recycling results in economic benefits.

Several such benefits are achieved through energy conservation. Recycled aluminum, for instance, requires 95 percent less energy to manufacture than aluminum from raw bauxite.

California’s highly acclaimed recycling program has contributed to a strengthen economy within the state. More than 4,000 recycling facilities employ more than 84,000 individuals, generating a payroll of $2.25 billion and $14.2 billion in yearly profits.

Each individual contributes to these gains. Recycle Across America hopes to raise awareness for the importance of recycling. It states that when 75 percent of Americans recycle regularly, it would have the environmental equivalent of removing 55 million cars from the roads.

Furthermore, it estimates that 1.5 million new jobs would be added within the United States.

Remember that, though one person may seem insignificant, every person who puts an effort toward the simple act of recycling contributes towards a brighter, and greener, future.

So when you finish reading this paper, toss it in a blue recycling bin — and kudos to the members of the Environmental Club who then will drag the bin to the large containers in the parking lots. More than just the environment will thank you.