The following is a letter to the editor of the Lahaina News (Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii) printed on October 27, 2011. While we can’t confirm specific statistics cited in the letter, it is gratifying to read that a student at the Maui Preparatory Academy not only understands the importance of recycling, but is exhorting her fellow neighbors to recycle more. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Thanks Cassidy!
RECYCLING IS IMPORTANT
I am Cassidy Otto from Kaanapali. I attend Maui Preparatory Academy, and I am writing to you because our world has been failing when reusing or recycling comes up. I am writing to you because people all around the world near and far
Why is recycling important to save Earth? Recycling is important to the world because it has a circulated system that brings the recycled materials in and mixes them together to have that same material into one, so companies are recycling and reusing. It is also important because it saves pollution. Since pollution is
one of our main issues in the world, recycling can help this problem.
How does it help pollution? When recyclables are replaced as new materials during manufacturing, we forget the environmental destruction caused by mining for metal, drilling for petroleum and growing trees. Usually, there is always a degree of pollution made in any manufacturing system, including recycling, but production using recyclables is surprisingly less. When recycling paper, you help reduce air pollution by 74 percent and water pollution by 35 percent. When recycling cans, you help reduce air pollution by 95 percent and water pollution by 97 percent. How awesome is that?!
How can recycling influence and change the world? “Recycling not only can
potentially save the Earth by reducing trash, but it influences people to
recycle in non-conventional ways. My sister turned a bed sheet into reusable
napkins. I have turned mailing tubes into a prop for a play.” That is what
my mom has said about it.
Not only does it save the Earth and reduce trash, but it influences people to
reuse, reduce and recycle more – to take those recyclables to the recycling
center again and again. I personally recycle, and it is a great feeling; just
recycling a garbage bag of bottles, glass, aluminum cans and newspapers is a
feeling that you don’t want to lose.
Did you know that to understand the value of recycling, we must look at the entire life cycle of any product – from the extraction and processing of raw materials, to the manufacture and consumption of that product, and then to its final disposition. Also, recycling creates a closing-circle system where products are returned back to manufacturers for use in new products, which prevents the
pollution and destruction that occurs when virgin materials like trees or
materials are extracted from the Earth.
Lastly, I read on a website that every year we generate 230 million tons of waste. By recycling 30 percent of the waste, we save energy equal to 11.9 billion gallons
of diesel fuel and greenhouse gas equal to taking 25 million cars off the road!
For every one million tons of recycled materials, we save energy equal to
35,680,000 barrels of oil in aluminum materials; 460,000 barrels of oil in
glass materials; 2,920,000 barrels of newspaper materials; 1,760,000 barrels of
oil in office paper materials; 4,010,000 barrels of oil in mixed residential
paper; 9,100,000 barrels of oil in PET (plastic) materials; and 8,870,000
barrels of oil in HDPE (plastic) materials. That is how much you can save by
Why am I writing this letter? I am writing this letter because recycling is a main
part of our world. I don’t want our world to come to an end, and everyone
having to live on Mars for the rest of our lives, because Earth won’t be able
to survive with human beings depending on it. Recycling only takes 20 minutes
of your day. It is that easy!!! I am passionate about this because I love to do
this. It isn’t that hard. Really! This is important to me and the world for you
wonderful people. Please just spread the word.