What if you knew that the world’s safety was literally in your hand? Would you save it? These questions are important to ponder because human beings possess the power to change the environment for the better through the process of recycling. By recycling, one can save the world by helping to reduce hazardous waste that increases the level of harmful greenhouse gases in the environment. The purpose of this report is to define recycling, giving reasons why it is necessary to participate in recycling programs and espousing the steps, roles, and benefits of recycling from both personal and situational (or environmental) standpoints.
Due to concern for the environment, there has been a proliferation of pro-environment attitudes, which are considered both desirable and socially-acceptable (Derksen & Gartrell, 1993). When investigating reducing waste via recycling methods, there are two strategies—personal and situational. Personal strategies for looking at recycling behaviors entails attempting to identify the qualities of an individual “that are associated with recycling behavior” (Schultz, Oskamp, & Mainieri, 1995, p. 105). Situational strategies, on the other hand, focus on a certain environment which facilitates specific recycling behaviors. The most accepted definition of recycling is “the process through which materials previously used are collected, processed, remanufactured, and reused” (Schultz et al., 1995). In terms of personal strategy, the act of recycling has a strong grass-roots support level in American households (De Young, 1989).
There are many salient reasons why people should invest their time and energy into recycling efforts. First, there are intrinsic motives, like satisfaction, that give people inspiration to recycle materials (Derksen & Gartrell, 1993). People must develop a consciousness that their waste can be recycled in order to create new products (“The ABC,” n.d.). Having this basic consciousness makes citizens aware of ways that they can help reduce waste through recycling efforts. Because household items, such as paper, cans, and plastic bags, come from natural resources, such as wood, petroleum, and aluminum, people should recycle in order to preserve these precious materials (“The ABC,” n.d.). Hence, the process of recycling helps to save resources, as it prevents pollution, supports the health of the public, and creates jobs (“Why Recycle,” n.d.). In addition, recycling helps to save energy. “By recycling about 30% of our waste every year, Americans save the equivalent of 11.9 billion gallons of gasoline and reduce the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road” (“Why Recycle,” n.d., para. 3). On the community level, people also feel compelled to participate in neighborhood recycling programs in order to be socially-responsible citizens.
Some of the main materials that are regularly recycled are: paper, plastic, e-waste, and metal (e.g., cans). Paper originates from raw materials, such as...