In the United States today, more than 80% of the items found in landfills could actually be recycled. Much of that waste actually comes from offices since the average office worker will throw away some 360 pounds of paper every year that could actually be recycled. Overflowing landfills lead to lots of different environmental issues, like lower air quality, that could be drastically reduced if the proper recycling systems are put in place. Simply taking the time to determine which items can and can’t be recycled can allow businesses and people alike to enjoy the benefits of going green.
Unfortunately, recent trends suggest that many going green ideas are not going to have a major impact any time in the near future. Though some might argue that lots of people are reducing the amount of energy they use and waste they produce, the fact remains that, over the last 20 years, the amount of plastic waste polluting the earth has increased by 10%. As a result, land pollution and other problems remain, and more policies and systems having to do with litter prevention and the proper disposal of waste and junk need to be put in place.
One of the main causes for pollution today, besides people who fail to recycle properly, is pesticides that are used to help crops and plants grow. While they help to make sure that the apples consumers buy are read and the lettuce has a healthy green color, they can be quite detrimental to health if they are consumed. In fact, more than 100 different pesticide ingredients have been linked to serious problems like cancer, birth defects, and gene mutation. So finding alternatives to traditional pesticides could be highly beneficial and one of the more significant benefits of going green possible.
Perhaps the main problem with trying to develop and execute green initiatives, quite simply, is cost. Not only is there a high cost of research and development for new products and technologies, but it also costs millions to clean up contaminated or polluted areas. In the U.S., there are more than 24,000 contaminated nuclear facilities. While cleaning them up would be preferred, doing so would cost between $100 and $400 billion dollars. Without all of that money readily available, they might continue to be a blemish on the planet.
Overall, there are lots of systems and programs that can be used to help people go green and preserve the planet by reducing waste. But when it comes down to it, the only way to make sure that everyone can enjoy the benefits of going green is by having a population that is responsible.