Recycling Definition

by Laurent Cousineau
(Montreal)

Recycling is a great way to reduce your ecological footprint

Recycling is a great way to reduce your ecological footprint

Recycling refers to collecting a waste product and reprocessing it so that it can be consumed once again.

Recycling can also be defined as returning a resource to a previous stage in its cyclic process.

For example, recycling could entail collecting a large quantity of aluminum cans, melting them into aluminum and finally, to produce new cans or other aluminum products out of the renewed material.

Recycling and Climate Change

Recycling is an easy and fairly popular way of mitigating climate change.

For example, there are various ways in which recycling paper can help diminish greenhouse gas emissions.

Conventionally, greenhouse materials are emitted in various stages of a product’s life.

First, greenhouse gases are generated through extraction, then through transportation to refineries, then to transformation, then to transport and finally, emissions are emitted through landfills (incineration).

Benefits of Recycling

By recycling paper, one would not need to spend energy to cut down logs, to transport logs, and to transform the pulpwood into paper (quite energy intensive).

Finally, the paper would not need to be burned. In effect, burning paper would otherwise release carbon into the atmosphere which will then bind with oxygen to form carbon dioxide.

In sum, it takes 70 to 90 % less energy to make recycled paper, and since energy available may not always originate from renewable sources, this will reduce greenhouse gas emissions even further.

In order to help build a more sustainable future, our society must recycle its precious and limited resources.

Besides, we need to consume less and reuse what we can.

However, there are many other ways to help stop climate change

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