Posts filed under ‘Bauxite’
An interesting editorial in the La Crosse Tribune (found via the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voter’s blog) talks about the importance of protecting our natural resources, like groundwater. I would add the importance of residents participating in their local recycling program as a way to protect natural resources.
Wisconsin requires recycling by banning certain items from landfills. These include items Waukesha residents can recycle in their curbside bins:
- plastic bottles & jugs (#1′s and #2′s)
- steel cans
- aluminum cans
Other items including grass clippings, tires, and motor oil are also banned from landfills. By recycling these items, residents protect natural resources like
- iron ore
- divers forests of trees
By reducing the demand for these natural resources we insure that the habitats effected by gathering these resources stay intact. Two key habitats affected include the rain forests (bauxite) and temperate and boreal forests (trees used for paper products).
Despite the fact that recycling is such an easy way for residents to ease the strain on our natural resources, Wisconsin’s recycling rate hovers around 35%. The national recycling rate for plastic #1 bottles (i.e. soda & water bottles) is an abysmal 23%. As we all focus on Earth Day festivities this week and the importance of saving natural resources, consider a small action to make everyday Earth Day and make sure you recycle 100% of what you can.
Want to do one better? Tell a friend about the importance of recycling. I’d love to hear ideas: how do you share recycling with those you know?
mk. With all the hulabaloo about some other famous birthdays this week, I figured I would take a moment to honor Thomas Malthus. Basically, he theorized that population could grow faster than our ability to produce enough food to support said growing population. Awesome. He influenced such people as Charles Darwin and John Maynard Keynes. Have I mentioned that (sans mascot costume) I am taking an Environmental Economics class this semester? I am assuming we will get to the Malthusian Catastrophe at some point. Basically, this guys huge theory that gets him all famous is that he thinks eventually we will run out of stuff to fulfill the needs of people. This is oversimplified, of course.
Takeaway point? Because, yes, I indeed have one.
Don’t use up more resources than you need to. Why speed up this guy’s theory?
Reduce. For every trash can of garbage (or bin of recyclables) you put on your curb, around 70 other trash cans were filled just to make the stuff in your 1 garbage can! Easy ways to do this? Buy in bulk if you will use all of a product. Use a lunch box and reusable food storage containers. Get reusable bags for shopping. Get a reusable mug for coffee or a canteen for water.
Reuse. If you do end up with a plastic bag from a store, why not use it as a trash can liner rather than buying the little liners from the store? After all, Americans spend more on trash can liners than 90 other countries spend on everything. Donate items you no longer have a use for. Feeling really froggy? My favorite reuse strategies to get your garden going for spring include making seedling pots from toilet paper roll tubes and then making a little greenhouse to help the seeds grow.
Recycle. Don’t send valuable resources to the landfill where they will never again see the light of day. We landfill enough aluminum in this country to rebuild every single commercial airplane every three months! Americans throw, on average, 2,502,500 water bottles in the garbage every hour! This statistic doesn’t even count soda bottles. When people throw away these materials they are throwing away natural resources (in this case bauxite, oil, and water), energy, and the economic benefits that recycling provides (because no matter how you slice it in Waukesha, recycling makes money and trash costs money).
Three little words could help slow Malthus’ Catastrophe quite a bit.