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As the threat of climate change continues to ramp up, the government continues to be uncompromising, and the corporations responsible for mass pollution aren’t held accountable, it is important that we take every step we can to help our planet. Global legislation is the step we need to turn our dire fate around, but since that isn’t happening we need to take personal action to help our planet.

One simple mantra has played in our heads since kindergarten. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Three easy steps. Steps so simple that children can understand. This slogan came about in 1976 when Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. As waste became an increasingly important issue, the bill aimed to expand recycling and conservation efforts. It gives the EPA the authority to control hazardous waste throughout its cycle. Generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal all fall under that cycle. However, the EPA estimates 75 percent of the waste stream in the US can be recycled or composted… but only 34 percent of it is.

It’s possible that the main issue contributing to a lack of recycling is general laziness. Some areas don’t have adequate recycling initiatives, but a lot of places do. The problem is that some people are just too lazy to find the recycling bin, or to sort their waste. Carver County recycles 45,000 tons of its waste, which is about 50 percent. However, much more can be done. It is imperative to our planet that each and every person take responsibility to recycle.

Luckily, there are many steps you can take to incorporate recycling into your life. Try flattening cardboard boxes so you can fit more in your bin. Recycle plastic bottles and metallic items. Toss your school papers in the recycling instead of the trash. Donate leftover school supplies, and sort your trash at lunch. Invest in some reusable grocery bags. Make coffee at home instead of buying one everyday. You can even make your commute green by taking the bus, walking, or biking. These are just a few suggestions, there is still so much more you can do! Get this, Carver County even has an A to Z disposal guide if you have any questions about where to put your waste.

Our planet is the only home we’ll ever get, it’s important that we protect it. Laws are needed to regulate corporate pollution, but there is action that citizens can take too. Recycling is the easiest way to be green. There are so many options and opportunities to take control and dispose of your waste properly. Seek education, and be proactive. Don’t be lazy, our world depends on us.