Recycling & Global Climate Change
Is recycling related to global climate change?
First, let’s look at what is climate change.
What is climate change
Seasons, climates, and weathers are in a constant state of change. Nevertheless, however dynamic these conditions are, they follow natural patterns of change governed by laws of nature. It is when certain limits are crossed, when patterns are disrupted, and the changes have become irreversible and destructive, that concerns arise.
Hence, when we talk about climate change these days, we usually refers to long-term and drastic changes in climate conditions across the planet, which usually has an adverse impact on the earth.
Natural occurrences such as volcano eruptions, comets, continental drift, and tilting of the earth’s plates have led to changes in climate patterns in the history of the earth. Nevertheless, some of the greatest contributors to climate
change today are man-created. Read more about the factors leading to climate changes.
The climate changes may not always take place immediately. This is because the earth’s climate system is very large, and it moves slowly and has time-lags in its reaction to the contributing causes.
The global climate change that is of greatest concern today is the increase in the Earth's average temperature – ie. global warming.
Many of man’s activities like the rapid deforestation and combustion of fossil fuel have lead to the accumulation of greenhouses gases (ie. gases that absorb and emit radiation within the infrared range). Subsequently these greenhouse gases trap heat within the earth’s atmosphere (also known as the greenhouse effect), and inevitably lead to global warming.
Global warming has in turn brought about a whole host of other occurrences, such as more extreme weather events like heat waves, floods, storms and droughts, in greater prevalence and intensity. It has also lead to the melting of ice glaciers and the rising sea levels in some parts of the world, at the same time, the creation of deserts in other parts of the world.
The global climate change that we are experiencing now has tremendous (check out the various climate change statistics and climate change facts) and yet to be completely understood impact on many parts of the world, for durations ranging from decades to millions of years. Read more about the effects of climate change.
Since there is very little we can do about the natural causes of climate changes, we need to examine the human causes more closely and start doing something about them, before it is too late.
Recycling and global climate change
Recycling can definitely help us fight global climate change, or at least minimize the rate of the change.
By recycling, you can help to reduce the need for the extraction of virgin raw materials from the earth, through activities such as mining and deforestation. This is important because mining and deforestation activities contribute substantially to pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In addition, deforestation also reduces the amount of plants and trees available on earth to help reduce the accumulation of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.
When you recycle, less fossil fuel needs to be burnt for the manufacturing process. This is because production processes using recycled materials require less energy.
As you and I recycle and divert materials away from the waste disposal systems like the landfills and incinerators, we also helping to reduce pollution arising from these waste disposal methods, as well as reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that are released in the process.
Besides fighting global climate change, recycling has other environmental benefits of recycling. Read more.
To fight global climate change, it is not sufficient just to recycle.
There are many other things you and I can and MUST do to reduce our carbon footprints. And we need to start now!
Practice the Reduce Reuse Recycle principle of waste management today.
Reduce pollution and emission of greenhouse gases, by green driving practices such as carpooling or keeping your eco green car in good shape.
Adopt green living practices at home and in the office. Conserve resources and energy, by reducing wastage in your daily activities, including switching of electrical appliances when they are not in use.
Protect the earth’s ecosystem – consider green holidays and ecotourism, use eco-friendly products and energy efficiency tips in your daily life, and add to the plants and trees on earth by growing your own green garden, or contributing to forest conservation efforts.
As a human community, we can also learn to tap on cleaner and greener sources of energy – renewable energy sources such as solar energy.
Last but not least, you can help to spread the message – the importance of do to reducing our carbon footprint and living a green life. Start with those around you – your immediate family members, your close friends and relatives. And not forgetting your children – instill in them the foundation for a green lifestyle, for they are the future for our planet.
Read more about how we can fight climate change.
We all have a part to play, whether by our recycling efforts or beyond.
We need to start now, before it is too late.
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