Reduce, reduce, recycle – this is the phrase we hear all the time from commercials and companies that are looking for us to move into biodegradable materials, recyclables or a green workspace. Do we ever get to quantify the actual results of these recycling in the workplace requests? Sometimes it is good to know exactly what effect you are having on the environment when you choose to live green and recycle in the workplace.
Good for the Economy
Responsible recycling, believe it or not, is actually great for the overall economy as well as our personal economy. Many small businesses that cannot afford OEM suppliers rely on recyclables to supply them with the raw materials that they need to build their products. Because recyclables cost less, they can supply products to the marketplace for a lower cost as well. Imagine that – you may be saving money on your everyday shopping and not even know it!
You may say this has more to do with economics than with the environment - but the two are strongly connected. Higher efficiency within the economy means more product for less money without the need to destroy new raw materials from the earth. The fact that recyclables are actually cost-effective help the environment because it is more expensive for companies to draw new materials.
Reducing Waste - the Numbers
We all know that recycling materials keep them from moving into landfills, where they will waste energy and space, possibly polluting the air as well as the land. For instance, any plastic that ends up in a landfill takes around 1000 years to fully degrade.
In America, the average person produces around 7.5 pounds of waste per day. Most of this waste is produced on the job, believe it or not. This is garbage that makes its way into landfills. Every pound that you can take off of this metric adds up to an extraordinary amount of value for the environment, considering the amount of waste that is produced on a daily basis.
An Energy Saver
The more energy that we save, the more that we protect the environment. From using remanufactured plastic to turning the heat down in the office, we keep our environment cleaner as we go green at work.
Both nature and humanity subscribe to the same process of using the earth's resources. As we take in things, we expel things. Humans at work are no different from the trees in the back courtyard. There is one huge difference, however. The products that nature expels are, of course, natural. They are recycled back into the environment for use without waste. For example – the tree in the back courtyard turns carbon dioxide into oxygen, which we used to breathe. However, when we used to much heat in the office, our furnaces and heat pumps emit toxic chemicals that escape into the year and ruin the ozone.
We can save a great deal of energy by simply refusing to admit toxicity into our land, water and air. For instance, if you start by using cans with recycled aluminum, you are automatically reducing the amount of manufacturing power required to produce cans by 95%.
Preserving Landfill Space
Recycling conserves space in the earth that would otherwise be used for landfills. A landfill is currently one of the worst ways that we have to store garbage. The materials emit unpleasant smells and leak toxic chemicals into the air, which ruins not only the land within the landfill but much of the land around it as well. Depending on the disposal methods of a particular landfill, garbage may eventually be incinerated. This is also awful for the environment, as it releases toxic chemicals into the air and the ozone.
The more that we recycle, the less that we have to resort to these primitive methods of storing our garbage. Not only do you preserve the land that would otherwise be used for the landfill, but you also upgrade the quality of surrounding neighborhoods, parks and business districts (maybe your own).
Prevents Global Warming
Depending on who you ask, global warning may or may not be a problem that affects our environment. However, why take a chance? No matter which side of the global warming argument you are on, it is definitely proven that toxic trash creates a less habitable environment for humans, animals and plants. This is a fact that is not questioned at all.
We know this much - the metric that we use to determine the amount of greenhouse gas in our air goes down the more we recycle. By the last available statistics, solid waste recycling stopped 32.9 million metric tons of toxic materials from moving into the air.
Protects the Water
The more that we use recyclable materials, the more that we protect our Lord sources of water. Water is a huge part of every manufacturing and production process in existence. Approximately 80% more water is used for new product manufacturing than for recyclable products.
Although there are very few measures for determining the amount of water that is used in any process individually, you can help the sustainability of that environment by investing in recyclable materials, recycling yourself and turning off the water in your office when it is not in use. You will also help to protect the beautiful wildlife that survives because of its proximity to a clean water source.
Find out more information on the benefits of recycling, reducing waste, preventing global warming, preserving energy, and sustaining our environment through Clover’s cartridge collection program!