Recycling has been on a steady rise since the 1990s, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) While I think that it’s great more everyday citizens are taking part in recycling, it isn’t the answer to our climate change problem. Commercial and residential waste only accounts for 11% of all greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA states.
It’s now commonplace to see that yellow or blue lid on a trash can signifying recycling. Some cities even include recycling in their waste pickup services automatically, which my town, Mount Vernon, Ill., didn’t have for most of my childhood. Cities are putting effort and money into recycling programs then putting blinders on to any other idea that could actually help a town’s carbon footprint, like secure public transportation.
When one recycles, they have to know how to do it because when it isn’t done properly, the entire waste bin is thrown out of recycling and the good deed is undone, according to Rubicon. Don’t recycle coffee cups, greasy boxes, dirty plastics, plastics that are marked “other,” tissue paper or paper towels, mirrors, wrapping paper, tape or adhesive, or shredded paper, said Eco Cycle.
Recycling is important but it isn’t the most important thing the citizens of the world should be doing to save it. The climate change blame needs to shift from regular people to large corporations that are pumping the earth full of greenhouse gases.
Most of the climate change blame falls on big companies that are using climate change fear to sell more products, which contributed to the problem in the first place. Companies make aluminum straws and canvas bags pushing the blame and pay on us. If companies were to simply use greener methods of production it would make a more significant difference than the products they’re pushing.