Going green should not be a trend under any circumstances. It should be a sustainable routine and a lifestyle, otherwise, what is the point? If you only recycled one plastic bottle ever, what good will that do?

You are asking yourself, why should I care? Well, to be honest, I can’t give you that answer, but I can tell you why I care.

The 5 Reasons I Care About Being Green:

1) FUTURE – I have a child. I want a better world for my daughter and hope that it will still be as green and natural for her when she is older.

The Landfill

2) TRASHY – We have lots of trash. Every year more than 200,000 tons of trash is being buried at the local landfill. Nobody is required to recycle or reduce their waste in our county. The reason is because South Carolina has space for landfills. You would hope that before you fill up that space with a landfill, you would want to find an alternative. In South Carolina, you have to WANT to recycle.

3) EXTINCTION – Non-renewable resources (and wildlife) have the potential to go extinct. Have you ever heard of Bauxite, Arkansas? Probably not. It was a small town that mined Bauxite Ore – the natural resource for making aluminum – starting in the late 1800s and continued until the 1950s or so. It is no longer mined there because it is no longer found in large quantities there. Once its gone, its gone. And you wonder why metal is so valuable – because it all originates from natural resources – rocks! Can you make rocks?

Home Recycling Bins

4) ROUTINE – It is a habit now. I started recycling in Annandale, VA – my hometown – where it is a law. Oh yes, it was a shell-shocker to learn that you didn’t have to recycle in South Carolina. What? (See Reason #2) But that didn’t stop me. I found a Recycling Center and started collecting and hauling from home. You have to WANT to recycle here. There is no automatic trash can / recycle bin combo when you move here. You really have to figure it out on your own. If I were you, start with your city or county sanitation department.

5) MONEY – Yes, it will save me money! If I use CFL lightbulbs, low-flow toilets and showerheads, seal all the cracks in my house…yes, I will save money on my utility bills. Our electric bill was $58 one month in our new house, as opposed to $200 a month in our old house. $58 vs. $200 – you do the math!

the author

Originally from Virginia, Jennifer C. Sellers is passionate about sustainability and conservation in South Carolina and throughout the world. She earned her BA in English from Coastal Carolina University and her MAS in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver. She is a university sustainability coordinator that implements programs and teaches people about going green and being sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @MyGreenGlasses

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