ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY, Ala.— Recycling 10 plastic bottles saves enough energy to power a laptop for more than 25 hours. In fact, there are many benefits of recycling that help communities, the economy and the environment. In the new year, consider adding recycling to your list of resolutions.
“Recycling is a new year’s resolution that helps everyone and every living thing,” said Marcus Garner, an Alabama Extension urban economic and community development regional agent.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Spending a little time planning to adopt habits and simple practices will lead to a healthier, cleaner planet for all. People can start by making an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle in their daily lives, minimizing their carbon footprint in the process. Whether at home, work or school, here are some easy ways to be eco-friendly in the new year.
- Purchase ENERGY STAR® products and appliances that are independently certified to save energy. This will not only protect the climate, but also save households money.
- Some devices draw power even when they are turned off or not in use. Reduce phantom energy or standby power by unplugging household electronics, devices or appliances that draw power all day, such as phone chargers and stereos.
- Pack lunches using reusable lunch bags and/or plastic containers to eliminate the use of one-use paper or plastic bags.
- Precycle or reduce non-recyclable waste before it starts. For example, buy rechargeable batteries or use old discarded newspaper instead of bubble wrap to mail packages.
- Americans discard over 700,000 empty ink and toner cartridges daily. Start recycling empty cartridges or purchase recycled cartridges.
- Minimize waste by upcycling. Use your imagination to creatively transform an old or unwanted item into something useful, delightful and of higher quality.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency website has many resources available on how to reduce, reuse and recycle. For more information, contact Karnita Garner, an Alabama Extension environmental specialist, or visit www.aces.edu to learn about Extension’s environmental activities.