How Does Reducing Help Save Natural Resources?

Reduce, reuse, recycle: 3 steps to combine the three Rs and save the earth

If there is one thing we all share every day of our lives, it’s the natural resources on this planet. It stands to reason that as our world wide population grows, the strain on these resources becomes even greater. That’s why even simple reduction measures to save natural resources can go a long way toward improving the overall quality of our lives. Not only will reduction help save the environment, but in the long run it can also save you money as your energy bills can be lowered.

Recycling means instant reduction

According to recent surveys by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 32 percent of municipal solid waste has been recycled by American households. That translates into over 79 tons trash that didn’t need to be incinerated or dumped in a landfill. That’s certainly a positive step toward saving the environment, but when you recycle, you are in essence putting raw compounds such as paper and plastic back into circulation without the need for digging up new raw materials. By merely recycling your old newspapers and magazines, you’ll be saving natural resources such as our forests.

Consider the typical soda can. A recycled aluminum can utilizes 95 percent less of the amount of energy needed to create that can than if you were making a brand new version with raw ore.

Reduction through recycling translates to saving energy

The EPA has conducted many studies which link the benefits of saving natural resources through reduction. When you make a product from scratch, you’re going to expend plenty of energy in mining, harvesting, transportation and manufacturing. If you can cut out all that extra work by recycling, it stands to reason that you’ll be saving on energy. Here’s the proof from the EPA: For the year 2000, the amount of recycled goods translated into saving enough energy to power over 6 million households. By the time 2005 rolled around, that number increased to 9 million households.

Don’t stop with recycling

As you become aware of the benefits of reduction to save natural resources, you won’t be able to escape the easiest and most cost effective method of reduction: driving less. When you reduce the amount of miles you drive, you are reducing the need for gas production and refining. The result is savings in your pocket, as well as natural resources. You can take it a step further by buying a hybrid or more fuel-efficient car.

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