Editorial: You simply have to recycle — we only have one planet

Published: 3/16/2019 3:58:08 PM

Recycling. The concept has been a no-brainer for decades, since the practice became more commonplace in the early 1970s. The earth’s resources are finite, so it only makes sense to get the most out of our plastic, paper, metal, glass and what-have-you. And when the alternative to recycling is to pile that stuff up in landfills or throw it in the ocean, it’s pretty obvious that everyone should be recycling.

Some may consider the issue to be political, a partisan affair. If you don’t believe in climate change, why should you recycle? Well, if you want to put aside the indisputable scientific evidence that tells us that recycling is just a drop in the bucket compared to the steps human civilization must take to maintain an inhabitable planet even 20 years into the future, we can’t stop you.

Do you need more tangible evidence? Pull up the internet and do a Google image search for “animal chokes on trash.” The images are heartbreaking; a sea turtle asphyxiated by a plastic bag, a seal with a six-pack ring cutting off its airways — the list goes on. If you’ve got a heart, it’s hard to imagine throwing away any more garbage than absolutely necessary.

That’s why it always comes as a shock when we hear people in our community saying they don’t recycle because it is too inconvenient.

If you have any thoughts about the future of our planet beyond your own immediate lifespan, there is no level of inconvenience that should stop you from recycling. You have to get a sticker? Get the sticker. You have to get special trash bags? Get special trash bags. You usually throw your unsorted garbage into a dumpster and forget about it? You can’t do that anymore.

The time is now. Make a change in your own life. After all, wildlife, the environment, planet Earth, and future generations are depending on you.


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