The Environmental Protection Agency reported that in “2009, Americans generated about 243 million tons of trash and recycled and composted 82 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 33.8 percent recycling rate.” Really?? How much is 243 million tons? Well, that’s enough waste to fill nearly 22 million garbage trucks. With regards to size, an elephant weighs roughly one ton. But, this post is not to scare you with or overwhelm you with staggering statistics; it’s purpose is to visualize conservation and awareness as mindset that will help us all move forward and ensure a healthy future. In fact, proper planning should start with becoming more aware in both internal and external environments. This is a step that is often overlooked in the business environment and can lead to costly mistakes.
When applied to nature, increasing awareness is our first line of defense, cascading outwards to conservation and recycling. Recycling is the fastest and easiest way to get involved. Although it may seem as though everyone recycles, we don’t! Many people feel it’s time-consuming and a hassle. However, it is actually very easy, constitutes proper planning, and ultimately reduces long term costs. Since not all trash is recovered from the waste stream, it gets illegally dumped across America or put into the world’s oceans. In view of that, PADI has an awesome aquatic conservation project, ProjectAWARE which focuses on two major ocean issues: Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris.
So let’s look at some basic methods to start engaging in and supporting the earth’s conservation efforts.
Precycle when you shop
- As a consumer it is important to purchase recycled goods.
- Manufacturers such as L.L. Bean, Patagonia, JanSport, and others are using recycled soda bottles for fiber in sweaters and pullovers.
- It’s for everyone who is interested in living in a clean environment.
- Will Steger, author of Saving the Earth, says, “There will always be another landfill cannot be the words we live by. The time for the shift from a throwaway society to conserving society has arrived.”
- Make it easy to recycle—this is especially important in the business environment.
- Recycling is a very satisfying act and you’ll probably unknowingly be giving back to your own community. Many high schools and colleges athletic tracks are now being built with rubber from recycled shoes and tires. Thus, there’s no limit to what can and can’t be recycled.
Identify new ways to recycle
I challenge you to live by these words “reduce, reuse, and recycle”… it can be as simple as
- Reduce your use of plastic bottles simply by using a water filter and reusable containers such as Nalgene bottle—Oh yea, and make them BPA FREE too.
- Find constructive was to reuse your waste. For example, simple art projects with your children.
- Finally, I challenge you to learn what you can and can’t recycle and post below so we can all learn together.