California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Reduce, reuse and recycle

    Think about the last time you had an empty bottle, can or simply a crinkled up piece of paper. What did you do with it? Did you throw it into the nearest trash bin because you wanted to feel like Kobe? Or did you recycle it?

    I sure hope you’re sitting there thinking, “I recycled it, of course.”

    But if not, if you’re one of those people who does not walk the extra two steps to the recycling bin, I have a question for you. Are you really that lazy or does the environment you live in mean nothing to you?

    Throwing a piece of paper in the recycling bin takes just as much effort as throwing it in the trash.

    According to Recycle Across America’s website, Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12-foot high wall from Seattle to New York.

    As for other recyclable products, Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Let me just reiterate that, 2.5 million plastic bottles every single hour. If you do the math that is 60 million plastic bottles each day, 21.9 billion bottles every year.

    Twenty-one billion plastic bottles are thrown into the landfill each year instead of being used to make renewable, sustainable products that positively impact our environment. Recycling 1 ton of plastic bottles saves the equivalent energy usage of a two-person household for one year.

    Think about these facts and what you have done to contribute to these statistics. You may not think throwing one bottle in the trash is a huge deal, and it may not be but multiply that one bottle by a couple million, it adds up.

    Pua Mo’okini-Oliveira, senior sustainability intern for the community service center and treasurer of the fair trade club,  said recycling is super important to the health and sustainability of our environment.

    “If we continue to produce materials that can’t somehow be used again, we’re going to find that our landfills and waste are going to cover much more over the earth than we as humans will,” Mo’okini-Oliveira said.

    Take a second and think about that. Do you want to live in a world where there is more waste in the landfills than humans on the earth?

    A once profitable business has now become a money-sucking enterprise, according to Aaron C. Davis of the Washington Post said. The increase in consumerism within America has resulted in an increase of trash or recyclable products that end up in the landfills. Nowadays there are plants solely dedicated to sorting through trash since as a country we can’t do it properly in the first place.

    A lot of it comes down to people unaware of what is recyclable and what isn’t. Did you know that any carton or box with food residue on it can’t be recycled?  So that Dominos pizza you had last weekend should have ended up in the trash rather than the recycling,  but not everyone knows that.

    Aside from food products, everything bought in this consumer filled society has some sort of packaging that needs to be considered. As busy, fast-paced, distracted people we often overlook the fact that everything we buy ends up somewhere, whether it be in a landfill or a recycling plant.

    “A lot of it comes down to recognizing our roles in ethical consumerism. When I purchase an item, I always think about the excess packaging that it’s encased in or what I am going to do when I’m finished using it and almost always try to use something for another purpose,” Mo’okini-Oliveira said.

    Whether or not you are an avid recycler now, take the extra two steps to recycle that piece of paper or that plastic bottle. We only have one planet and we need to do our part to take care of it.

    “It’s little things like that, including recycling and composting that leads to less waste in the landfill, less pollution and less degradation of our environment,” Mo’okini-Oliveira said.

    Each bottle counts. There are no second chances when it comes to our planet, so next time you’re feeling like Kobe, make sure you make it in the right bin.

    Lydia Snodderly
    Staff Writer
    Published May 4th, 2016