Earth is a beautiful place full of mountains, rivers, oceans, and vast diverse species of wildlife. However, many of our common practices destroy our planet and cause it great harm. Global warming is becoming a huge issue, and many ecosystems are dying out because of human waste. Recycling, cutting down our waste, and not using plastics are some of the best things we can do to conserve the environment and slow down global warming.
According to the EPA, “landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 15.1 percent of these emissions in 2019” (EPA 2021). Unfortunately, over 80% of those items in landfills could have been recycled (Brucker 2018). Recycling is extremely important when it comes to conserving the environment and cutting down our pollution. Almost anything can be recycled including plastics, glass, cardboard, metal, paper, wood, and countless others. Recycling can ensure that landfill pollution drops, and that less materials have to be used in order to make new products.
250 million tons of waste are produced every year by the United States alone (Leahy 2018). This unimaginable amount of waste does horrors to our planet. Landfills, polluted rivers, and entire islands made completely out of trash are a commonplace in our society. Cutting down our waste is a necessity in conserving the environment. Composting, buying second-hand items, using reusable diapers, and reading the news online are just a few ways in which we can cut down our waste.
Plastic is used in countless everyday items. Bags, utensils, packaging, and water bottles are just a few examples. Around 8 million individual pieces of plastic make their way into our oceans every year. This devastating amount of plastic has horrifying effects on wildlife. 100% of baby sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs, 100,000 marine animals die from plastic every year, and 1 in 3 fish caught contain plastic. (Condor 2021). Humans need to start using reusable bags and water bottles, bamboo toothbrushes, and less packaging in order to cut down this ridiculous amount of plastic waste.
Earth is slowly dying due to the waste and pollution that humans produce. Being more conservative when it comes to our waste and being more open towards recycling are mandatory if we want to help save our planet.