What Is Recycling?

Recently, we celebrated friendship day. But are we treating our home, planet Earth, like a good friend?

We read about recycling back in our school textbooks. We ‘filled in the blanks’ and we also ‘gave reasons’. The backbenchers just ‘matched the followings’ while the teacher’s favorites wrote page long ‘short notes’. Then we joined the college and opted for this subject as a ‘relief’ from a vernacular language or maybe because the multiple choice questions were just too convenient to answer. Years passed by, and we started working in our cozy air conditioned cubicles. Forwarding work mails with footers that read “Avoid paper and go green” become our daily routine. Yet we prefer the use-n-throw styrofoam cups to washable ceramic mugs during our coffee breaks.

Sigh! The irony has just begun because we aren’t ‘filling in the blanks’ anymore and we’re ‘giving reasons’ to no one. I ponder if we did take a graded subject too lightly or did we take the whole planet for granted? Indeed, we did. Although we don’t have teachers to question us today, we collectively remain answerable to our future generations. Before making efforts to sustain our planet, we must first admit the fact that it is endangered. Only later we could understand why it’s about time we stop blaming each other and take the self responsibility to:

  • Create less environmental pollution
  • Reduce the amount of energy that we consume, and
  • Cut the amount of waste that we produce.

After reducing and reusing, the most efficient way to achieve this is recycling.

The process of recycling means making completely new things out of items that have already been used for their intended purpose. It is done by taking potentially useful waste items and converting them into new products or items. Almost every single community, every single household and every single human on the planet currently throws away items that could be recycled. Although, we are aware what recycling really means, there remains a gap between awareness and implementation. We at Earthify aim to help you bridge that gap.

The easiest way to start is by using separate dustbins at home for the dry and the wet waste. Similarly, separate waste bins for an apartment complex, separate garbage dumps for a particular locality and so on. Consequently, all the articles made from paper, cardboard, plastic, tetra packs, styrofoam, metal, glass, synthetic fibers, etc. could be recycled instead of ending up in landfill sites or being openly burnt and dumped in water bodies in the worst cases. Electronic waste can also be recycled, however, that’s done separately.

Comfort and convenience have become an inseparable part of our lives. That’s exactly why plastic has become our nastiest enemy. Be it parties, public events or celebrating an occasion; we prefer serving food and beverages in disposable plates and glasses to save the struggle of washing them. Being easily available just add up to the excuse. But little do we think if they’re really disposable or if proper means are taken to dispose them? It doesn’t matter at what discount we buy them from the supermarket, if eventually it’s our ecosystem that pays the price for it. Same goes for the fancy over-protective packaging that’s a result of the trending online shopping phenomenon. The one that makes it necessary to courier something as tiny as a pen drive, memory card or earphones with a packaging that’s almost thrice as greater in weight and volume than the actual product. So much of paper, cardboard, polythene, plastic and styrofoam gets used for every single delivery. But we could curb this hazard at a community as well as at an individual level too.

We must choose to collect the synthetic articles and remold them safely. This way we could recycle them into different things that could be used on a daily basis or that could be gifted to our beloved ones and friends. All we need is a little creativity and the urge to make a difference. Don’t let the odds stop you from recycling what you individually can. Every little effort counts in being our Earth’s best friend.

At Earthify, we strongly believe that recycling should not be a one time thing. If we use a product made using recycled materials, then at the end of life of the product, the material should be recycled or upcycled again. Only when we start to think about recycling as a loop, we will be able to keep a good amount of non biodegradable waste away from the landfills.

Written by Anuj Mahadik.


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