Climate change, recycling and waste prevention
How much climate change is in your trash?
Recycling helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption. Using recycled materials to make new products reduces the need for virgin materials. This avoids greenhouse gas emissions that would result from extracting or mining virgin materials. In addition, manufacturing products from recycled materials typically requires less energy than making products from virgin materials.
Waste prevention and smart shopping are even more effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that result from energy consumption. When we buy less or reuse products, less energy is needed to extract, transport and process materials to manufacture products. Purchasing products made from recycled materials, such as paper, plastics, and metal, instead of virgin materials also helps to reduce energy consumption. In addition, waste prevention and recycling paper products allows more trees to remain standing, where they can continue to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Here's an example of how recycling makes a difference: