By simply getting on Twitter or Instagram, you may see one or two posts about our current environmental struggle. From commercials about our continuously filling landfills to a push to purchase and use metal straws, the Earth is desperately trying to be saved. Sadly, with China's import ban on recycled goods to go, This is now causing the city of Nacogdoches’ recycling program to be suspended.

Now and until the city of Nacogdoches can come up with a plan, paper and plastic materials are going to be thrown into a landfill. This means that even while you see the green or blue “Recycle” bins around campus, most of the contents are not actually being recycled, which is misleading for would-be recyclers. With the remaining recycling bins not being removed, there is still a chance that our recycling programs in Nacogdoches will be reenacted. For this to happen, the Nacogdoches community and SFA students need to work hard on recycling properly and coming up with new cost-efficient ways to recycle.

However, the city of Nacogdoches will be accepting cardboard for a new baler at the landfill, whose proceeds can help us get paper and plastic recycling back. This means if there are any leftover cardboard boxes lying around a dorm room or apartment, this is the time to recycle them.

This problem was reversible. Before this point of no longer having places for the trash to go, more could have been enacted. More movements for protecting Earth could have been made, but now the focus needs to be on helping out as much as we can. At this point complaints of no longer being able to recycle are useless. Lifestyles need to change in order to help the Earth. The easiest way to do that is to focus on reusing and reducing waste production to help keep the Earth clean, rather than recycling, which we can’t do anymore.

Something as small as using a reusable water bottle will help contribute to reducing waste consumption. In a blog post by biofriendlyplanet.com, it is mentioned that 38 billion plastic water bottles are thrown into U.S. landfills each year, while some bottles end up in the ocean.

Not only does the waste harm us as humans, but it also harms the other life forms that live on our planet with us. Many fish-eating carnivores will end up accidentally mistaking algae covered plastic as a fish, which cannot be digested or passed.

It is important to do everything that is in our power to help reduce waste, even if it is something that may feel small or insignificant. Switching out plastic utensils and instead bringing reusable utensils from home can help with unnecessary plastic waste. These are small and easy changes that can be made that will make a difference in the long run.

The community needs to change. Society and corporations need to do better. By finding ways to get involved with the environment and cutting down on waste production, people can make the world healthier.

The news of the Nacogdoches’ recycling program being suspended is terrifying, but there is still hope. As a whole, we need to take action, and there needs to be people who are willing to enact change. Why can’t that change start in Nacogdoches?

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