Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged when we think about all the ecological challenges we face on a global scale. Sometimes we might even think: “Nothing I do will ever make a positive impact on the environment”. This is simply not the case. Doing your best to reduce, re-use and recycle your household waste does help your community, and when many households recycle, reduce and re-use it has a positive impact provincially, nationally, and eventually globally! Overcrowded landfills are a worldwide problem. Landfills are so full of “garbage”, much of it which could have been recycled, that they are anaerobic, meaning there is no oxygen within the compact waste material, and as such it will never biodegrade. When you pay attention to what you consume (pre-cycle), and you give what waste you do produce a second life (re-cycle), you help cut down on the amount of material that goes to landfill.
We know that on an industrial scale recycling plants face logistical challenges; sometimes the recyclable material must be transported long distances to be processed, sometimes post-consumer recycled plastics get processed improperly and make their way into the oceans and other sensitive ecosystems. However, although the system is not perfect, it makes alot more sense to recycle than to just let it all pile up in a landfill. And in my humble opinion, alot of the plastic in our oceans, rivers and other ecosystems is not from recycling gone awry, it’s from people and corporations with no regard for how to properly dispose of or re-use their waste. There are many people and groups the world over doing exciting, positive things in the field of waste management. More and more people are creating innovative ways to reduce, re-use and recycle. So keep the faith, and do your part. Think globally, act locally!