How Can I help? Recycling and Composting

In this fourth article of our five part series, we bring to you the ways in which by practicing recycling and composting you can contribute to a healthy and sustainable environment.

You can help reduce pollution just by putting that soda can in a different bin. If you’re trying to choose between two products, pick the one with the least packaging. If an office building of 7,000 workers recycled all of its office paper waste for a year, it would be the equivalent of taking almost 400 cars off the road. Recycling reduces pollutions in two ways: by reducing the manufacture of fresh materials, littering and landfills, and avoiding incineration.

The environmental problem of landfills is a difficult issue to fix. And who better than Indians to appreciate it, as the country’s biggest cities keep running out of landfills to fill, and witness incidents like spontaneous fires, and even fatal ‘landslides’ in just the past year.  As more waste ends in landfills, the bigger the problem gets. Products that are not biodegradable or are slow to decompose, like plastic, can remain in landfill sites for centuries, often emitting gases that could be harmful to the environment. With increased recycling efforts, the waste destined for landfills can be further reduced, thereby minimizing problems and helping the environment.

If we recycle paper products like newspapers and books, we can save more trees on earth. As such, recycling products is extremely important so that we can help preserve our natural resources- from trees to minerals to marine resources. If we continue to waste our resources, the time might come that they will all be used up and we will end up with nothing.

Think about how much trash you make in a year. Reducing the amount of solid waste you produce in a year means taking up less space in landfills. Plus, compost makes a great natural fertilizer. Easier than it seems composting is a great way of reducing our waste and actually gaining from it if practiced diligently can and will help the environment and us.

Apart from keeping garbage which is degradable out of landfills helping clear out cities, composting can help the environment in a number of less obvious ways. Fertilizers, a major source of water pollution, bind to compost in the soil, preventing them from leaching into groundwater or waterways. Some of the micro-organisms in compost can also bind heavy metals in soil, again keeping them from leaching into the water. Other micro-organisms can actually break down some pollutants into less toxic chemicals. Compost is now frequently used to help remediate (or decontaminate) polluted sites.




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