Greener On Our Side

Recycling's Many Benefits
Enhancing the Environment

Most everyone understands the benefits to recycling aluminum, glass, paper, and plastic. Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators. It also conserves natural resources, creates jobs, and prevents pollution. In short, recycling is good for the economy and good for the environment, too.

The benefits of daily activities like recycling are especially profound for older adults, though. Dailycaring.com writes about the ways day-to-day routines benefit seniors, whether it’s recycling, morning rituals, or other chores. A predictable activity such as recycling can reduce stress and anxiety while promoting independence and a sense of safety and security. Studies have shown that a regular routine each day promotes healthier sleeping habits, too.

Recycling also promotes being civically active. Healthypeople.gov writes that participating in engaging activities can promote a sense of pride, increase appreciation for one’s community, and add motivation to get involved in other aspects of community life. There are indirect benefits to physical and mental health, too.

When it comes to recycling, research shows that Americans who are 65 and older have better recycling habits than younger Americans. That’s particularly true at GreenFields, where residents have undertaken efforts to recycle their waste rather than have it end up in landfills. Some of the inspiration is the thriftiness of previous generations, but it also stems from a feeling of responsibility and participation in a cause bigger than themselves.

That’s the case for GreenFields resident Barbara Greenwald, who took it upon herself to start a recycling program. Barbara and other residents monitor the refuse room for recyclable items such as Styrofoam, packing foam, batteries, ink cartridges and more. Then they transport the items to the appropriate location to be recycled. People appreciate the service Barbara provides—and the advice she gives to others when they have questions about what can be recycled. 

“During the Depression, we didn’t have much and were very frugal,” Barbara says. “We didn’t throw things away. I’ve always maintained an interest in that.”

Ecocycle.org writes that recycling is a daily activity for more than 100 million Americans.

It’s no wonder why GreenFields’ program has been so popular. Recycling is an activity that brings communities together and makes the world a better place.


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