To Recycle Or Not To Recycle -- That Is The Question This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I will never forget the summers of my childhood. Each year, my family spent carefree days in a cottage in the Pocono Mountains. Detached from civilization, we gloried in the peace and beauty that only untouched nature could offer. There was a lucid lake, as blue as the summer skies, hidden among the trees. Yes, the trees. I remember clearly those majestic and intimidating giants, clothed in green shrouds of foliage. To my childish eyes, they stood like some great, invincible army, their heads held high with pride. It seemed that they would forever rule their vast domain. I came to love the trees and the unending mystery they promised.

There was one tree that remains especially clear in my memory. It was a beautiful fir, whose gnarled and twisted roots formed a little niche just for me. I sat in this secret haven for hours, daydreaming and inhaling its sweet pine smell. I watched its highest boughs tremble with each passing breath of the summer breeze and listened to the melodious conversations of the warblers that had come to share the fir with me. As the years passed, my sentimentality toward that tree grew. Many a blissful summer evening was spent under its gracious shade.

Then one year my fir tree disappeared, leaving behind nothing but an unfamiliarly deformed stump. The seemingly unconquerable giant had succumbed to the cruel metal teeth of a chain-saw. Soon many more of its green companions met the same fate. The beauty of nature slowly and sadly faded from my summers.

Recently I revisited this area and hardly recognized it. The cottage, the birds, and the trees are all gone. The lake is now marred by the reflections of countless modern residences. Only the sky as yet is unobscured.

Each year, millions of such forested areas are destroyed and wasted for paper. The sad truth is that a majority of this paper is thrown away by reckless consumers. To preserve the forests from such a dismal fate, it is necessary that everyone learn to do their duty and conserve paper. It is very simple. Make good use of paper and use both sides. Do not squander napkins and other such products. But above all, recycle newspapers, magazines and other paper advertising products.

After all, to recycle or not to recycle paper is a very rhetorical question, for in our hearts every one of us knows the answer. ^


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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