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Global Relocation

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  • Pages: 5
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  • Category: Ethics

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Recycling refers to the culture of reusing materials over and over again in the attempt of preserving natural resources. This is increasingly becoming important because of two main reasons: global climate change and the overshooting costs of exploiting some resources from the earth. As a result, recycling is quickly gaining currency as the best way to see the would through crisis that could be occasioned by the expanding effects of the aforementioned issues. This essay will attempt to show the importance in that process in three sections. The first section will elaborate on the viewpoint that recycling is not important at all; whereas the second section will show the importance of recycling in preserving wilderness; and the last section will explain the importance of recycling in establishing ethics that bind people to their environment. There is also a conclusion that sums up important points made in the essay.

Against recycling

Despite its importance in achieving the benefits listed above, recycling is not practiced by most people in the society because of various reasons. First, some items are expensive to recycle to an extent that it makes more economic sense to keep sourcing their raw materials from the earth. Secondly, business people lack incentives to undertake such processes. Third, individuals could not be well informed regarding the importance of recycling their waste. Fourth, pro-recycle groups could not agree with some individuals regarding the rational of such practices.

Recycling as Preservation of Wilderness

            Humanity has for ages cleared virgin lands to access natural resources it consumes. The increasing speed at which this has been happening is a clear threat to the beauty and ecological values of wilderness. Recycling can be used to avert such crisis; availability of its byproducts will mean less encroachment of virgin lands. This process is better spearheaded by corporations that do the mining work. Governments should provide help in cases where economic incentives of recycling lack.

            Some examples where recycling can be used to reduce destruction of vital wilderness is in lumber. The ever increasing demand for hardwood in developed nations is leading to logging in the Amazon forest. Yet the same countries waste a lot of lumber that could be reused in similar activities. The waste timber could further be used produce byproducts, currently being produced though destruction of wilderness. Taking such steps will preserve the Amazon wilderness that is so pure and critical to global ecological balance. It can even save companies a lot of money. For instance, it has been estimated that Aluminum cans produced through mining use more production energy and monetary resources than the ones produced through recycling. There are many instances that this scenario repeats itself but there has been little effort to exploit it.

The importance of recycling in the United States has started increasing rapidly when the country’s wilderness, especially in the American West, started vanishing. Americans concerned with increasing demand for resources underneath their western wilderness. They subsequently started challenging industrialists to stop encroaching on the little remaining virgin lands, with the construction of Tuolumne River in San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Valley (Cronon). To save search areas from industrialists, moneyed like the J. D. Rockefeller bought large tracts of land for preservation albeit for their own enjoyment. However, such lands have throughout the years been opened for public enjoyment. Cultivation of such preservation methods forced American companies to start recycling materials to avoid confrontation with the public.

Establishing Ethics of Recycling

            Ethics refer to the differentiation between social and antisocial behavior (Leopold). But is there anything like recycling ethic? Definitely yes. It is easier to see this ethic in our residencies and in larger societies. We can easily identify individuals who like recycling and those who do not.  We can therefore refer to recycling ethic as the distinction between the social behavior of reusing material and the one of dispelling that idea. It should be understood that recycling helps create its own ethic, which improves humanity’s relations with the environment; some thinkers rifer to this balance as an absolute ecological necessity. (Leopold). This ethic should be used as a guide to the proper relation between man and the environment surrounding him.

            Such ethic is important in the future of recycling, especially in developing. These countries are currently exploiting their resources like America did in nineteenth and 20th centuries. This is causing serious stress in these nations natural environment as well as detrimental environmental issues. The ecological ethic that is cultivated by recycling can help end that sorry trend. Good thing is that the culture of recycling is fast gaining currency in China and India, the two fast developing countries whose ecologies are bearing greatest cots of fast industrialization. For instance, it can easily be seen that the more man demands from the environment, as it is evidenced in those two growing economies the more the relationship with ecology intensifiers. This demands adoption of recycling ethic worldwide, which can be seen in these countries as they fight against destruction of their environment by resource hungry industrialists; Chinese demonstration regarding construction of Gorges dam and Indians’ complains regarding mining as well as excessive water usage by beverage maker, Coca cola.

            Recycling thus helps enhance the relationship between man and his environment, which is what Leopold calls “land ethic”, which is on the rise worldwide (Leopold). The relationship is important because the affected individuals feel more attached to their lands and therefore protect from any exploitation. For instance in India, the public’s sentiments over Coca Cola’s extensive exploitation of water resources for its beverage industries forced the company to adopt measures that would use the resource wisely as well as helping with water purification, a form of recycling. Forcing companies a to recycle in that way is a boon to the future of resource use in countries that will soon become major production powers.

            Such attachment with resources, which is caused by recycling ethic, will further lead to better utilization. For instance, people will be ethical enough to use the land in much better and productive ways, because they would hate to use the resource in ways that caused uproar against exploiters. Recycling therefore makes people fell obligated to do the right thing at all times for the benefit of the society and the environment surrounding them.

The greatest importance of recycling is therefore to help people understand that their generation is the custodian of resources left by its forefathers, and the trustee resources that will be needed by future generations. Only by cultivating such a culture of recycling ethic that wilderness and natural resources will live longer for the coming generations to use and preserve for those who will come afterwards.

Works Cited

Cronon, William. The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature.

  1. William Cronon. Mar. 3, 2008. http://www.williamcronon.net/writing/Trouble_with_Wilderness_Main.html

Leopold, Aldo. The land Ethic. 1948. North Glen. Mar. 3, 2008.


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