Earth Day perfect time to talk about recycling

We all have something in common: We all live on this  ever-shrinking place called Earth. As global citizens, in an effort to keep the planet strong and resilient, we must do our part to protect and preserve it.

Recycle. It’s a really easy place to start. 

These days, waste management companies provide containers for recyclables. Never has separating out plastics, glass, newspaper and cardboard been easier to do at home, in the office or on the go. 

There are ways to recycle printer cartridges. Metal can be recycled. Water bottles, a biggie, are great for recycling. These are important ways of repurposing the old to make way for the new. 

Sometimes states will even pay people to recycle — a great incentive for folks to collect soda cans and beer bottles and bring them to their nearest recycling centers. Often times, that means carting your cans to the local supermarket. It’s a convenient and simple way to do your small part, in a pretty big way.

Every bit helps. What we don’t recycle goes into our landfills, and eventually our waterways and oceans. And landfills, as we all know, are filling quickly, leaving fewer and fewer places to put our trash. 

Once in the water, it’s even worse news. Our oceans, lakes and rivers are so polluted that recent reports show there are now fish riddled with cancerous tumors. And we all know about the incredibly high levels of mercury and other toxins in our waters.

Litter is more than a matter of aesthetics. The issue goes beyond that shiny plastic shopping bag, floating on the branches of a nearby tree. It goes beyond the stray metallic gum wrapper, stubbornly stuck to the sidewalk. It goes beyond the straggling plastic bottle, rolling out from under an unkempt Dumpster. Litter is expensive to clean up, it affects quality of life and it hinders economic development. But it’s not enough to simply complain — it’s time we take action.

Recycling is the perfect way to do so — it’s so important, so  fundamental, so key to ensuring a better tomorrow. Yes, recycling is pretty common today, and thankfully most people probably don’t even think twice about it. But there are always those few who refuse to recycle, those who are so myopic they don’t understand we need to do better when it comes to solving the problem of what to do with our rubbish. If we don’t do that, and quickly, we’re literally trashing planet Earth.

Learn more about recycling. For ideas and inspiration, go to Keep America Beautiful at www.kab.org.