||What is recycling? Simply,
recycling is the practice of reusing or finding new uses for products and resources rather than throwing usable materials away while continuing to harvest new virgin materials. Thus, recycling saves natural resources, reduces pollution, and conserves energy.
What does it mean to recycle? Recycling isn't just about returning aluminum cans for the deposit, though that's a plus! Recycling is really about the CYCLE of consumption, from production of a product to the use of it, and finally to the REuse of it or its material, in whole or in part. As a consumer, it starts with reducing consumption. When purchasing an item, ask yourself Do I need it? Can I find what I need without buying new? (Can I borrow it? Can I buy it used?) If you decide you do want to buy a new item, you can choose products made with recycled material (or, at least, that come in packaging that is composed of recycled material), participate in the recycling program in your area, and find other uses for items (or other people who can use the items by connecting to a Freecycling group in your area or donating to a deserving charity).
Why is recyling important? There are many wonderful organizations devoted the promotion of recycling. One of them is Ecocycle.org, which has a wonderful list of what they call Tidbits and Facts that are useful to know about the benefits of recycling!