As concern for the environment grows, more and more people are jumping on the green movement bandwagon, changing everything from the cars they drive to the products they buy. There are a lot of different things you can do to live a little greener, including using recycling centers in Houston to dispose of a large portion of your trash.
No Good for Anyone
America loves soda. Whether cola or un, the nation can’t seem to get enough of it. How much do Americans love it? Well, research indicates that every single person in the United States consumes about 600 cans a year! That is a lot of soda and definitely a lot of cans. While it is no secret that soda is not the healthiest drink for mankind, many people forget that the cans are also terrible for the environment.
The Mining Problem
Forget for a minute the obvious destruction and pollution caused by improperly discarded soda cans and focus on the not-so-obvious aspects of aluminum production. In order to produce aluminum, refineries need a mineral called bauxite. Bauxite is found deep within the earth and mining is required to gain access to it. Mining is one of the absolute worst things humans can do to their environment. It always leads to deforestation, increased pollution, dust, and erosion problems. The more aluminum cans that have to be made from scratch, the more bauxite has to be mined. By recycling your soda cans, you can decrease the stress on the environment.
The Refining Problem
After the refineries have all of the raw materials they need to create aluminum, they have to refine it, which takes tremendous amounts of electric power that is usually supplied by some manmade contraption like a hydro-electric dam. Dams, while sometimes good for the environment, can also be bad, causing the same kinds of problems as mining. Remember, the more humans alter their environment, the worse off everyone is. Besides using an enormous amount of electric power, refining aluminum requires and produces large amounts of dangerous chemicals that are often found in ground water. While the EPA does regulate the amount of chemicals that can be released into the environment, refineries are notorious for cheating and non-compliance, and, honestly, how much of a caustic chemical are you willing to ingest?
Recycling Really Helps
Finally, there is the issue of where the cans end up when they are not properly recycled. Even if you aren’t one of the careless souls who throws his or her can away wherever suits best, even tossing it in the trash instead of a recycling container can cause serious environmental problems. Currently, if the United States were to put all of its trash in one place, it would create a landfill that is 400 feet deep and covers more than 1,000 acres of land: every year. Discarded aluminum cans make up a huge chunk of that volume, but they don’t have to! By recycling your cans instead of throwing them away, you can help preserve more land for the enjoyment and use of people.
Besides taking up large amounts of land, aluminum cans are notorious for polluting things like rivers, lakes, and beaches. Every year, almost 3 million tons of cans end up in precious water sources. If you want a chance to help the environment, doing something as simple as using recycling centers in Houston can save forests and water resources.