What you need to know:
- Global statisitics show that every year we dump nearly 2.12 billion tons of waste. A large part of this ends up in landfills.
- These students recycle to save the planet.
Recycling is the need of the hour. It is one of the best ways to save the planet. Why? It would help us reduce the trash that’s filling up the landfills.
Global statisitics show that every year we dump nearly 2.12 billion tons of waste. A large part of this ends up in landfills. Recycling is one of the ways to address the growing global landfill crisis. It is the process by which materials are reused in order to manufacture new products. So, instead of ending in landfills where they sit in the ground and pollute the land, recycling gives these things a new life and saves the world.
Why is recycling paper important?
We all use paper. As a resource and a commodity paper is widely used in various spheres of our life thereby making the recycling of paper extremely essential. Not doing so can have an extremely detrimental impact on nature and our environment. Recycling paper allows for sustainability by minimising carbon dioxide emissions and reducing the number of trees that are being cut down to manufacture paper.
It reduces the pressure on natural resources. Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy and 7000 gallons of water, according to the US-based University of Southern Indiana.
United Nations annually observes June 17 as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCDD). The day highlights the importance of sustainable land management practices and preserving healthy and sustainable land. As an accredited organisation, Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) has joined hands with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in its efforts to restore degraded soils.
How we saved 10 trees
We have all heard of the three Rs, reduce, reuce and recycle. But, have you heard of EEG’s project ‘Recycle. Reforest. Repeat’? Its objective is to involve its student, academic and corporate members and encourage them to take action towards reversing land degradation. My brother and I participated in the campaign to motivate the community members to recycle paper, and thus contribute to the restoration of land and soil that has been degraded by desertification, droughts and floods.
We went around our neighbourhood asking our friends, neighbours and family members to give us their newspapers, old magazines, cardboards, bills and other paper products lying around the house but not being used. The result? We collected around 560kg of paper for recycling which translates to saving 10 trees, 806 gallons of oil, 2 cubic yards of landfill space, 2,240 kilowatts of energy and 1,484 gallons of water. The campaign not only facilitated paper recycling thereby reducing the trash that would otherwise be sent to landfills, but also ensured saving precious resources. We were also able to effectively raise awareness in the community on the need to rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle.
Rajshri Mishra, a UAE resident who advocates for recycling said: “I feel that the recycling of paper is a very positive step for the environment since paper products can be recycled and the number of trees cut down for the production of paper can be reduced. Such campaigns help to increase awareness about the three ‘Rs’: Reduce reuse and recycle. This innovative campaign will help in gradually changing the public mindset as seeing the children in the community undertake such a selfless service helps make us adults more environmentally conscious.”
Promoting UAE Vision 2021
Recycling along with the judicious use of resources is the need of the hour. We all need to protect the environment through means of education and community involvement to leave a green mark. Save paper, reduce plastic usage, lessen food wastage, keep surroundings clean as well as conserve water. We should join environmental organisations, participate in clean up drives and initiate recycling programmes in our neighbourhood and educational facilities. These positive actions shall contribute to energy and land conservation as well as the reduction of pollution thereby contributing towards achieving UAE Vision 2021 launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
We would like to urge everyone to recycle and adopt green practices. We all need to realise that very simple lifestyle changes and small acts can help to make a big impact on the environment, as they help to reduce global environmental damage and make our earth a better place. So, let us all pledge to recycle today in order to secure a green future for our planet.
— The reader is a student based in Dubai.
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