Recycling Essay

754 WordsOct 22, 20114 Pages
Recycling in Nature The concept of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” is gaining popularity among the business community. The increasing focus on recycling over the last decade may have created a perception among many people that the concept of recycling is man-made. However, people and businesses may increase their recycling if they realize that recycling is common in nature. Some natural recycling is obvious to humans. Fallen tree leaves decompose and create a richer soil for other plants. Bacteria and fungi are food sources for worms and insects, which in turn are food for animals. Microbes break down organic materials and create the basic elements of soil. Earthworms create tunnels that let air and water into the ground. Lichens emit chemicals that break down rocks and wood. Holiday trees recycled in the woods create shelter for small animals; those deposited in lakes or reservoirs become habitat for fish, or they can be chopped and turned into mulch. Most people are familiar with composting, where food waste is saved and used as fertilizer for gardens. The entire food chain could be said to rely on various forms of recycling. Water is also recycled in nature. This is known as the water cycle. Water on earth evaporates into the atmosphere from the heat of the sun and from rain and snow. Air currents move that atmospheric water, creating clouds, which move around the globe and create precipitation. "When precipitation falls over the land surface, it follows various routes. Some of it evaporates, returning to the atmosphere, and some seeps into the ground (as soil moisture or groundwater). . . . The rest of the water runs off into rivers and streams, and almost all of this water eventually flows into the oceans or other bodies of water, where the cycle begins anew (or, more accurately, continues)." Approximately one-third of the water that falls on land drains into

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