TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, April 21, 2004
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Recycling saves Earth, limits waste
Students need to be aware of garbage concerns

Picture this: The United States produced more than 225 tons of Jell-O in one year, an average of 4.4 pounds per person per day. But only about 30 percent of that was actually eaten.

Seems like a waste, right? Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Instead, we produced over 225 tons of trash and only recycled about 30 percent of that. Much worse.

Because unlike Jell-O, our trash does not materialize into a yummy dissolvable goo. It piles up, packs into large holes in the ground and quickly perishes … from our thoughts at least. Despite what these trash pockets do to the soil and groundwater, there are only so many golf courses we can create on this planet. Sooner or later we’re going to run out of space.

Until then, we know how the rest of the story goes. The rain forests deplete, global warming ensues, acid rain falls, and generations to come slowly watch our precious world erode. It’s either that or the sun burns out — whichever’s first. Both seem to be distant realities, but our waste problem is a little more here and now.

While you may not care about the fate of the Earth centuries from now, the effects of recycling, or the lack thereof, can be seen even today. According to the Environmental Protection Agency and common sense, recycling saves energy, supplies valuable raw materials to industry, creates jobs, and stimulates the development of greener technologies. In addition, less trash sitting around stewing in its own filth means less danger of disease.

Still not enough to make you cast down that non-biodegradable Styrofoam tray in disgust? Understandably, convenience is a hard leisure to let go of. But it doesn’t have to be all paper goods and timed faucets. Just being aware and active in recycling on-campus is enough. For all our plastic-bottle-giving Coke machines, there is a recycling bin ready and willing to receive your waste.

TCU Daily Skiff ©2004
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