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How Recycling Improves our Standard of Living

written by: Nichole Weathers•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 7/28/2010

There are three practices utilized in recycling: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reduce your waste, reuse what you can and recycle what you can. If you are wondering, "how does recycling improve our standard of living?" read on.

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    Once you incorporate a few green changes into your and your family’s daily living practices, you will begin to wonder why you ever were so wasteful. It can be amazing to realize just how much waste we really create. According to Organic Home, more than two-thirds of the materials we throw away as rubbish can be recycled. There are many people who may be wondering how does recycling improve our standard of living this day and age. Recycling is going to reduce or prevent global warming effects, reduce waste, protect wildlife, and preserve landfill space.

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    Environmental and wildlife impact

    The less landfill space we use, the less forests and wetlands are plowed down to create more landfill. Many forms of wildlife and plant vegetation have been completely wiped out in this process. Water can also become polluted, harming aquatic life and polluting your drinking water. Reducing paper is one way to save trees. Organic Home notes that "every ton of recycled paper saves 15 trees." A lot of trees are wasted to create paper products. Reading things in digital format, recycling paper, and reusing paper can help reduce the environmental impact of damaging trees and wildlife.

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    Hazardous waste

    Hazardous waste should be properly disposed of, as these harmful materials can be exposed to the water supplies when they are thrown away with regular trash, or flushed down the sink or toilet. Throw hazardous waste materials away in the proper manner, often during a spring cleaning pick-up or at a local waste center. Other harmful chemicals that should not be turn away with regular trash include chemical cleaners, mothballs, insecticides or paint.

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    Think of all of the energy that goes into manufacturing new products in transporting them to their desired locations. Recycling and reusing as many items as possible makes a huge dent in energy consumption. The National Recycling Coalition reports that manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95% less energy. Consider saving even more by switching to larger bottles of soda or drinking water. Use a water filter in lieu of buying bottled water. You can make a big difference if you consider renewable energy options, such as solar heating.

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    Easy changes you can make

    • Look for a local recycling center. Many cities have a local center that accepts a wide range of recyclable products. Some large locations even offer curbside pickup for recyclable waste. Make it a weekly habit to drop off your recyclables at your local recycling center while you are out doing errands or grocery shopping.
    • Create your own compost to grow organic vegetable plants while recycling kitchen scraps. Using compost can replace harmful chemical fertilizers. Keep the compost bin or a compost heap outside so that the order does not in a tree indoors. Compost coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells, green vegetable peelings, leaves and hedge clippings.
    • Patch up your old clothing and shoes to make them last longer before buying new replacements.
    • Donate any usable household items, clothing and shoes to local shelters.
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    Incorporate these changes into your family's lifestyle to reduce your impact on the environment. Knowledge is power. Spread the word and answer for other people, how does recycling improve our standard of living this day and age?

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