Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Evaluating and Synthesizing

Ultimately, the most useful articles/websites were those that talked about recycling programs that have existed in other areas. As I started searching, I realized just how much information is out there. I believed I would be able to 

Pleasanton is rewarding residents who are willing to recycle.
Indiana University combined art with recycling. 
Utah may have an increase in sustainable living because of the federal stimulus package.

Recycling programs are expensive to initiate. However, in spite of high up front costs, in the long run there are several benefits to paper recycling. Recycling requires a change of mindset, as those heading up research initiatives must be patient while the wave a recycling takes hold. Paper recycling does not necessarily "save a tree" as trees are planted specifically for paper; paper recycling DOES increase the life of a landfill. In addition to recycling, consumers ought to reuse and reduce their paper use. It's a cliche that I have heard countless times, but it is true! 


It was at this point in my process that I realized that I had lost track of the initial goal of my research, to find out how reuse works into the equation. I was so distracted at my personal goal that I lost absolute track of what I was supposed to do. Reuse! It's all about reuse! I quickly changed my search topics, looking for such things as "recycle + reuse" and "recycle vs. resuse"; the latter search brought me to a website about the perks or reuse. I also visiting the EPA website that offers compelling statistics about all three R's. It is definitely worth a look.

As I evaluate all of the information I have been able to find, it seems clear that REUSE is much more useful than RECYCLING. Reusing an item is common sense, does not require further energy output, and increases the life of a land fill more than recycling ever can. Those proponents of recycling seem motivated by money. It also seems as though companies brag about recycling. It's just a buzz word that seems nice. In a sense, Recycle is the glamorous younger sister to the frumpy but productive big sister, Reuse.

My research did lead to the discovery of a favorite website thus far, one that addresses toilet paper and recycling. I also came across a home made entirely of paper. Another, while it dealt with making the choice to PURCHASE recycled paper, was aptly named Going Green @ Your Library

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