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A select few of the many reasons why recycling plays an essential role in our everyday lives.
Things that can't be recycled end up in a landfill. Landfills fill up rapidly but, because its contents can't be reused or recycled into something else, it can take literal hundreds of years to even begin to decay. This means that greenhouse gases and other damaging toxins are being released and polluting the ozone layer; a layer which has already become dangerously worn down and, in some places, completely removed. Such a layer aids in protecting the earth from being harmed by the sun's UV rays.
When this protection isn't there, the earth heats up, causing icebergs to melt (and induce flooding) and untameable wildfires to start in rainforests, forests, and deserts. Such natural yet preventable disasters can maim whole ecosystems at a time, endangering species of plants and even wiping some out.
Recycling is immensely important for animals and wildlife. For one, non-perishable items such as plastic straws and beer can rings can harm and kill creatures that live near the landfill sites or in oceans. Turtles have been known to die of suffocation after getting straws such up their nostrils; raccoons, squirrels and even dogs have died choking thanks to a non-recyclable item winding around their necks. As if this danger wasn’t enough, when ecosystems are threatened, so too are the homes of thousands of different species that live there. Species have gone extinct because there simply isn’t a suitable habitat to live in anymore.
There are many reasons recycling is important for humanity too, from a financial standpoint, it costs far more to create objects from entirely new materials, as opposed to refurbishing a recyclable item. This also uses less energy, preserving valuable resources for future generations to come. To return to the previous mention of the damaged ozone layer, this also has a negative impact on humanity. It’s because of this that global warming is rising, which in turn is affecting people’s health. Skin cancer rates are likely to rise thanks to this new level of UV exposure, putting more people at risk.
We spoke with Alex Lowenhoff a Landscape Architect from Outerspace for a chat on all thing's circular economy in The Greem Room #Decarbonised.
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