Recycling is the first step toward a sustainable future

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2018

For as long as they have been available, goods and services have entailed the generation of waste.

In response, humans had to find a place to put all of that refuse. Landfills became a necessary part of that process, but as with anything on this Earth, landfills are temporary.

There will come a day when there will be no more room for all of the trash we generate.

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That’s why recycling is the only viable solution to ensure society does not end up like the parody of a civilization portrayed in the movie “Idiocracy,” where entire cities are essentially just one large landfill occupied by people who have little regard for their environment. Unfortunately, too many residents of Pearl River County can be seen discarding trash from their vehicle windows unconcerned about where that cup, plastic bag and cigarette butt will end up.

So, to hear that a student attending the University of Southern Mississippi is spearheading a movement to increase the college’s regular recycling efforts is encouraging news.

That effort is part of the college’s participation in the national competition called RecycleMania 2018.

Her efforts go beyond enticing the staff and student body to recycle more than usual, she also holds a contest entitled “Caught Green Handed,” where students found using bicycles, reusable water, totes and food containers receive a coupon for a free drink at the college’s coffee shop. Recycling everyday materials such as plastic, aluminum and paper saves a lot of electricity. No matter how electricity is produced, wasting it to make those materials from scratch is an irresponsible way to be part of this planet.

It’s our hope that efforts like the one at USM will catch on, and spread not just throughout the state, but the world.