In a world of finite resources, beset by a slew of climate and environmental concerns, it has never been more important to recycle than it is now. At the Your Smalls Appeal, we believe in using recycled materials as much as possible. This applies to repurposing donated bras, as well as the menstruation kits we provide to women and girls in Africa.
But what, exactly, are the benefits of recycling? There’s so much contradictory information online that it can be hard to know for sure. These are just some of the most important reasons to recycle where you can…
Conserving Our Natural Resources
The world’s natural resources are limited, and some of them are now in short supply. Recycling materials like paper, wood, plastic, metals, and glass helps to preserve those resources that we have left.
Protecting Ecosystems and Wildlife
Harvesting raw materials inevitably leads to the devastation of the natural world. From clearing forests and sinking mineshafts, to water and river pollution, whole ecosystems are under threat as a result of the demand for raw materials. Recycling reduces the need for these resources and lessens the impact on the environment.
Reducing Demand for Raw Materials
The cost of raw materials is more than just an ecological one. Many of the world’s poorest communities are directly affected by the search for new material sources. Forest and river communities, for instance, are frequently displaced from their homes by corporations and prospectors looking for cheap natural resources.
The difference in energy consumption between making products from raw materials and recycled materials is staggering. It ranges from a 40% drop in energy use for making paper from pulped recycled paper, to a whopping 95% reduction for making aluminium from recycled cans and foil.
Reduced Carbon Emissions
Using less energy to produce items using recycled material has an added bonus. It means recycled goods have a smaller carbon footprint than newly-made alternatives. Additionally, less waste going to landfill means less build up of methane-release waste products.
How Recycling Helps Us
At the Your Smalls Appeal, recycling forms a key part of our overall philosophy. Donated bras should be new or slightly worn. If your bra is in good condition, then the impact you make is immediate – it will be passed on to a young girl or woman who needs one.
The other major part of our work is making hygienic menstruation kits for women and girls in the African communities we support. These are made by women in The Gambia using recycled materials. Not only are these kits helping to eliminate period poverty, they are also providing essential jobs to women and girls who have been sexually exploited. The menstruation kits last up to 3 years, removing the need for single-use sanitary products, in turn reducing the amount of plastic pollution.
We’re committed to providing to helping women and girls in the here and now, but also ensuring they have a bright and sustainable future to look forward to. Recycling is an integral part of that vision and we can only continue with your help.
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