What are some of the lessons of the pandemic for recycling?
Listen to the scientists. They are not out to get us—they are trying to reduce harm and make our lives better.
Science is a systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Science does not advocate. It presents information about the world: physics, biology, chemistry, earth sciences. It is up to us to do something about that information. Our lives are entirely wrapped around applied sciences like medicine and engineering. If we have integrated cellphones and computers into our lives, we are science-based already; we don’t get to pick and choose what branches of science we believe in. We might want to consider what the other branches of scientific methodology are telling us. Like epidemiology. And earth science.
The COVID pandemic caught us all flat-footed. We used to stockpile medical masks and other supplies in preparation for an event such as this. We stopped a few years ago—perhaps not believing that what our experts were telling us could ever really happen.
Not to be alarmist, but what else are we hearing but not preparing for?
Scientists from many different branches have been painting a picture of looming environment catastrophe for several decades now. One way to act on that information is to up our recycling.
Recycling helps by reducing the amount of harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses released from landfill sites and incinerators. It reduces the pollution caused by waste. It reduces the need for raw materials so that the rainforests and other animal habitat can be preserved. It preserves the natural resources and conserves the energy required to make products from raw materials. (See Greening Forward.)