Recycling This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The environment is a fragile thing. For hundreds of years, the human race has been taking and taking from this earth and not giving anything back. Now this total disregard for the planet is catching up with us. Landfills are filling up with garbage. Toxic storage sites are contaminating the areas near them. Trash we threw away years ago is still lying in the dirt, doing nothing but taking up space. There are Save the Planet groups and television shows about the problem. Recycling has now become a household word, and people are starting to care, but is it too late?

I believe recycling is a vital step in the process of rebuilding this earth from what the human race has done to it. Although trying to cut back and reuse products is helpful, it can only be done to a point. Recycling is a must to eliminate trash; stop the pollution from garbage incinerators; and reduce the throwing away of all the non-biodegradable items that will still be embedded in the earth a hundred years from now. If you recycle all the products you can now, you will be saving our earth from further contamination in the years to come.

I am fortunate to live in a community where recycling occurs. We have a recycling truck that comes around once every three weeks to pick up and recycle plastic, metal, and glass products. At our school, every effort is made to recycle paper as well as the Styrofoam lunch trays. Once a month you can also drop off newspapers for recycling. This reduces the amount of garbage thrown away considerably, and also cuts back on trash expenditures.

However, just because the programs exist doesn't mean they are utilized. People must care about recycling by doing little things like clearing off their trays and putting them in separate recycling bins at lunch, or remembering where to put their scrap paper or just going to the trouble of sorting through your garbage to see what can be recycled. These little things which only take 15 minutes a week will make recycling a success.

You must care about what happens to the world you live in. Because there isn't any galactic dump truck that will stop by the earth to collect all the excess garbage. In the future, we'll have to live with the decisions we make now.

So if you have a recycling plan in your community, take advantage of it. Drop off your papers, categorize your trash, return the plastic grocery bags to the supermarket. If you don't have a recycling plan in your community, work toward getting one. Write to your mayor or selectman or even your state representative, because if you don't make certain you preserve the earth we live on today, there won't be one to live on tomorrow. n


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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