4 Reasons Why Should We Recycle

There are a lot of good reasons to recycle. Everything we use or consume has to come from somewhere and must go somewhere after we are finished with it.

The environmental cost of a product is not only a reflection of what is needed to manufacture it. It also reflects the energy a product needs to be made and also the impact it’s going to have after we get rid of it. Believe it or not, this cost is felt all over the world. With the actual global population increase we are stretching our natural resources to their limits, which will affect the next generation (our kids) and the beautiful planet we call HOME.

By thinking twice about what to buy and how to get the maximum benefit out of our purchases, we can work together to decrease the amount of waste we produce. Most of the time, products that break apart can be fixed to increase their lifetime. We can even reuse products either for the same purpose or something different, giving many of the items that would usually end up in the garbage a second life. And when it’s really time to discard something, recycling ensures that the materials used for production are used again.

Why Should We Recycle

Here are some reasons that make it clear why it’s important to recycle:

Raw Material Conservation

Almost all man-made items include various materials to create the end product. This requires harvesting raw materials like trees for example and processing them into usable materials by suppliers. As a consequence of this and to fulfill growing demand, sources of such raw materials are depleting and have an enormous impact on different areas in many countries around the world. Recycling reduces the need for raw materials, and our natural resources can be preserved. For example, reducing deforestation is one of the benefits of recycling.

Energy Conservation

One of the benefits of recycling is its importance in conserving energy. It requires way less energy to make items using recycled materials rather than manufacturing them from raw materials.

  • Recycling paper saves more then 60% energy when compared with making totally new sheets of paper.
  • Recycling aluminium saves more then 90% of the energy necessary to produce aluminium from raw materials.


Landfill Reduction

When we recycle, the materials are reprocessed into new items, and consequently the amount of waste sent to landfill sites decreases. The more we recycle, the more we help in reducing the load on local and national landfill sites. As population levels increase, we will need to find new landfill sites, and this is going to harm the surrounding environment and wildlife.

Reduce pollution

One important reason for recycling is to reduce pollution. The more items we buy (contrary to reducing), and the more we toss out (rather than reusing and recycling them), the more waste we produce. Therefore, if we reduce, reuse and recycle (rather than buying new products all the time), we reduce the pollution that is caused by the production of new items.

You Can Make a Difference

The majority of people believe that one person cannot make any difference and I am here to say that one person can make all the difference.

Take http://greentumble.com as a good example. The Greentumble movement is created by normal people from all over the world, just like you and me, without any special skills but with a will to make the world better.

You don’t have to be a environmental scientist to recycle or to raise awareness about environmental issues. Recycling is for everybody and it’s not difficult at all, even a kid can do it. It is not just common sense, better think it as a simple yet extremely effective way to preserve natural resources and protect our environment and wildlife.



Is bottled water better than tap water?

Every person needs to drink at least 2 liters of water per day. There is no doubt about that. Doubts appear when it comes to choosing the source of water. In the past, people used to drink only tap water or water from wells. Why nowadays such a high percentage of people reach out for bottled water? Is bottled water better for us? Isn’t higher consumption just a marketing strategy of companies trying to sell more?

As a final consumer, you should ask yourself these questions.

Quality is what matters

Bottled water
Most people believe that water sealed in bottles is a guarantee of wholesomeness. Bottled water has to be tested regularly for microbiological and chemical parameters, but what about its storage?

Storage is the biggest problem affecting the quality of bottled water. Do you know how long water has been closed in that plastic bottle and under which conditions? Sometimes it can take a few weeks or even months before water reaches the consumer. Improper conditions and long time periods of storage only increase microbiological growth causing water quality deterioration.

Tap water
Tap water on the other hand is always fresh. At most places, the quality of tap water is comparable or even better than the one from bottles. It is frequently and very carefully monitored.

The main reason why most people do not drink water from tap is its taste. Taste is often affected by the concentration of chlorine or the amount of dissolved minerals. You don’t have to be afraid to drink it though.

Tip: Let your water rest in a pitcher for a bit and all chlorine will dissolve into the air. Taste can be improved very easily by buying a better filter or adding a lemon or lime slice into your water.

Environmental impact of bottled water

It all begins with the bottle…
A very serious problem is the ecological impact of production of bottles and economical impact on their disposal.

Just a few facts: Most of bottles are made of polyethylene terephtalate (PET) and 1liter bottle has an average weight of 38 grams. According to Gleick and Cooley (2009), the production of bottled water requires 5.6 to 10.2 MJ per liter of energy, while treatment and production of tap water demands only 0.005MJ per liter. Annually, people in the US buy about 33 billion liters of bottled water, which gives an enormous number of between 32 to 54 million barrels of oil used in the manufacturing and distributing process. The amount of water needed to create a bottle can get up to 5 times more than the amount of water used for filling it.

Now imagine the immense amount of energy, oil and even water used in this manufacturing process.

Try to imagine yourself the whole process of how bottled water gets on your table. It has to be pumped, tested, cleaned, packed, labeled, transported, advertised, stored and cooled down.

…and ends with the price
The price of bottled water can be even 1000 times higher than of tap water. People in developed countries pay incredible amounts of money per year just for water. You would like to believe that paying a higher price the quality is better, but this is not the case all the time. Often, in the lab this water shows worse results than tap water.

Why is bottled water priced so high?

Basically, the price reflects the cost of the bottle production, brand, transportation and even advertisement.

Would you buy any other product where just the package costs much more than the product itself?

Why is tap water better

  • It is cheaper
  • It is fresh
  • It is microbiologically and chemically tested
  • It includes minerals your body needs
  • It is environmentally friendly
  • It doesn’t have to be transported from far distance
  • It doesn’t use non-renewable resources in humongous amounts
  • It doesn’t produce waste
  • It doesn’t harm animals, plants and ecosystems
  • It can be refilled on the go – just get a reusable bottle
  • It doesn’t contribute to climate change



Are you thirsty? Think twice before buying another bottle of water. Right now you can make a decision that might change the planet and save resources for future generations. Sometimes the smallest steps are the most important ones on the way to improvement and every change begins with one person taking the right decision.




Gleick, P.H., Cooley, H.S., 2009. Energy implication of bottled water. Environmental Research Letters. (online). http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/4/1/014009/pdf/1748-9326_4_1_014009.pdf

Olawabunmi, M. 10/18/2012. Bottled Water: Why It’s Bad for You, the Environment, and Water. (online). http://www.hydratelife.org/?p=767

Pablo. 2007. What’s the true environmental cost of Fiji water. (online). http://www.triplepundit.com/2007/02/whats-the-true-environmental-cost-of-fiji-water/

Schriever, N. 07/29/2013. Plastic Water Bottles Causing Flood of Harm to Our Environment. (online). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/norm-schriever/post_5218_b_3613577.html


Homemade household cleaners

Dish washing detergent

Ingredients: 3 lemons, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of vinegar, 400ml of water

1st: Peel and cut lemons on small pieces

2nd: Mix with the rest of ingredients together and use a blender to get mash

3rd: Cook the mixture for 15 minutes on a low heat and then let cool down

4th: Wash dishes with it as you would with any other detergent


Tip: If you have a dishwasher you can buy in many eco-stores special chemical-free detergents.

Natural laundry detergent
Ingredients: 1 bar of soap, 250 g sodium carbonate, 4l of water

1st: Boil 4l of water in a pot

2nd: Shred the soap on small pieces and mix well with sodium carbonate

3rd: Add this mixture to a small part of boiled water and stir until everything is well dissolved

4th: Now pour this liquid in the rest of water you have prepared

5th: You may add your favorite essential oil if you would like

6th: Let it cool down and store in an appropriate container. You should use approximately 200ml of the detergent per washing (depending on how hard your water is)


Tip: To make white clothes whiter add a few drops of lemon juice or a package of baking powder into the washing machine. You might as well drop one half of a lemon between clothes, when washing.

If you have some old white clothes, that lost their brightness, boil water in a pot with one sliced lemon. Then switch the cooker off and soak clothes in it. Leave in for 20 minutes and then let dry.

Clothes softener
Vinegar is a perfect clothes softener and smell neutralizer. It neutralizes smell of clothes and makes soap’s fragrance stronger. No worries, clothes will not smell like vinegar.

Ingredients: 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of water, few drops of your favorite essential oil

1st: Mix everything together

2nd: Use about 200ml of the solution per washing

Air freshener
Ingredients: 1 tbsp of baking soda, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, few drops of essential oil, 2 cups water

1st: Boil water

2nd: Mix hot water with all ingredients

3rd: Pour solution in a spray bottle

4th: Spray in the air anytime when your interior needs some good smelling boost

Carpet cleaner
Ingredients: 3 tbsp of a shredded soap bar, 500g of starch

1st: Mix ingredients together

2nd: Rub into a carpet with brush

3rd: Let work for 30 min

4th: Vacuum clean the carpet well

Universal household cleaner
White wine vinegar and baking soda are perfect kitchen cleaners for any kind of surface. They disinfect, cleanse and neutralize bad smells. You can use them everywhere in the kitchen and bathroom.

Ingredients: vinegar, baking soda, water

1st: Mix ingredients together

2nd: Clean any surface you want


Tip: Vinegar even helps to neutralize smells and dissolve food bits in a dishwasher. Pour 0.5 liter of vinegar into the dishwasher and let it run one cycle without any dishes in.


What are the causes of water pollution?

Contamination of water is together with air pollution the biggest threat for life on the planet. Water bodies everywhere on Earth already carry traces of chemical contaminants (e.g. hormones, pharmaceuticals or petrol), while human population in need of clean water still increases. About 37% of world’s population does not have access to hygienically treated water (WHO&UNICEF, 2012).

Water pollution happens when strange molecules or physical externalities change the attributes of a water body making it less appropriate for its original purpose (e.g. drinking or spawning habitat for fish). Unfortunately, the most common pollutants originate (directly or indirectly) from anthropogenic activities, such as fertilizing, marine dumping or industrial release. The pollution occurs, when people dump untreated waste into a water source or when pollutants from soil get washed off by the rain.

Main sectors from where pollutants escape in water are the ones that largely influence the environment.

Examples: urbanization, mining, intensive agricultural production, deforestation, burning of fossil fuels.


What are the causes of water pollution?

The source








Waste water

Highway runoff

Cosmetic products

Animal waste

Chemical waste

Oil spill

Gardening pesticides


Atmospheric deposition

Wind erosion


Storage space leakage (manure)

Thermal pollution

Marine dumping/dumping


Are you contributing to water pollution?

We do not have to go very far to determine the causes of pollution. What is the first thing you do after waking up? You go to the bathroom, take a shower, brush your teeth and flush the toilet. As a matter of fact, an average person in a developed country uses about 150 liters of water per day (source: EPA)!

Have you ever wondered what happens with water after you use it?

It is collected in sewage systems and treated by a local waste water treatment plant. Then, the plant releases treated water to water bodies in the vicinity. In spite of this, many cities still dump untreated sewage directly in oceans, thinking that it is a biodegradable matter and does not represent any risk for sensitive ecosystems. This is a risky action, since some people flush down the toilet medicaments, chemicals, plastic substances or even toxic waste.

What about the way we live?

Pesticides and fertilizers are a common problem of intensive agricultural practices in many developed countries. However, the concentration of pesticides from private gardens is also significant and contributes to the contamination of water bodies nearby. Gardeners should read very carefully instructions of the use of pesticides and take all necessary measures to reduce the risk of water pollution. Follow at least one simple rule: do not use pesticides before rainfall.

On contrary to popular belief, contaminants do not have to originate only from soil. The effect of atmospheric deposition makes airborne particles reach water bodies after first rain as well. Fossil fuel power plants, car or industrial emissions release high volumes of toxins in the air. These particles are moved over long distances by wind and contaminate water with precipitation (acid rains).

What should we do about it?

Water pollution is mainly caused by human activity and therefore, prevention from our side is necessary. Every single person should try to gain a better understanding of natural processes because our lives depend on it.

Educate yourself, spread the knowledge and help to preserve water.




EPA (cited on 5.8.2014). Domestic Waste Water from Single Houses. Environmental Protection Agency. Online available at: http://www.epa.ie/water/wastewater/guidance/#.U-CeYmPm6cE. Accessed: August 7, 2014

UNICEF (26.5.2012). Water Quality: Safe Water- Save lives. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Online available at: http://www.unicef.org/wash/index_water_quality.html. Accessed: August 7, 2014

WHO & UNICEF. (2012). Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water. Online available at: http://www.unicef.org/media/files/JMPreport2012.pdf. Accessed: August 7, 2014