We just celebrated America Recycles Day , but with it some people may have a few questions about the various forms of recycling and what do they actually mean? What are the benefits? When did recycling get so complicated? I turned to one of my great green friends to help us out with learning about the benefits of the green cycles.
Green cycling can help the environment and help you build a better, greener, healthier planet. There are several different cycles and each have various benefits. It may be hard to do all of them, but many of them can be easily adapted into everyday life.
PRECYCLING– Precycling is “preventing recycling” according to Planet Pals. It is a very simple action to take and it basically means know what you are buying before you buy it. Think ahead about your purchase to reduce waste and save yourself some money. Planning what you are going to buy ahead of time can prevent many items from ending up in landfills. A few ways to precycle include bringing reusable bags to the store with you, buying products that have limited packaging, and buying “lifelong” products instead of disposable items (batteries for example).
RECYCLING– Recycling takes used materials and makes them into new products through processing. This reduces waste of useful materials. It also reduces energy usage, air pollution and water pollution. Recycling products like glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles and electronics can help make the planet a healthier one.
FREECYCLING– Freecycling is one of the easiest green cycles to add into your life. It is the act of giving away unwanted, useable items to others for free. This prevents the items from being disposed of in landfills. There are many online groups and mailing lists that offer freecycling programs.
UPCYCLING– Upcycling is the act of taking waste materials and otherwise useless products and creating new materials or better quality products. The use of upcycling helps reduce the consumption of raw materials when creating new products. It can also reduce energy usage, air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions. Upcycle That is a blog that inspires readers to create new and useful products including Egg Carton Flower Lights, Halloween Spider Decorations, and Upcycled Tables.
DOWNCYCLING– Downcycling is the opposite of upcycling. It is the act of creating new materials and lesser-quality products to keep them out of landfills. It is more like recycling and reclaiming materials. The products made are of lesser-quality and can be weaker than the original product. However, downcycling can keep items out of landfills longer. Some ways to downcycle include creating recycled paper from paper, making rags from clothing, and recreating product packing from cardboard or other packaging materials.
Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.