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When I was in middle school, I learned about the importance of recycling.

Recycling is incredibly important as the global population continues to increase. Over the course of the next century, the population will increase with the same limited resources. There are certain natural resources that will be completely depleted within the next century.

Since both of my parents are from Haiti, I am acutely aware of the issues that arise due to overpopulation on the limited land mass. The country suffers from a lack of infrastructure as well as a lack of resources, which are partly due to the uninformed populace exhausting whatever materials they can find in order to survive.

For instance, most peasant farmers use the trees to produce food. Although we are now in the digital age, the proliferation of technology is extremely sparse. The inability of the inhabitants of Haiti to survive without cutting down the trees to burn charcoal really speaks volumes about how dire the situation is within the country.

In Haiti, most people are ignorant about the potential benefits of recycling. In fact, only 2% of the forests in the country remain.  The trees are cut in order to cook food, which occurs is rarely stored.

Oftentimes, people in developed countries take things for granted. We forget that not too long ago, there was a global humanitarian crisis when the Earthquake hit Haiti. The crisis is due to a systemic lack of infrastructure and architectural planning.

The importance of conservation and recycling is something that kids in the United States, Singapore, Japan, and most of Europe learn from an early age. Industrialized nations, which already have power, tend to promote this sort of thinking more than the developing nations which could benefit tremendously from these practices.

In Haiti, most kids are not informed about the perks of conservation and the dangers of deforestation. Meanwhile, in Western schools, we are aware of the dangers of overpopulation and the need to reduce our ecological footprint. Yet, people in Western nations still choose not to recycle.

The basic motto is to reduce, re-use, and recycle.

However, the three R's were not as widely practiced because most of my instructors did not actually spend any time demonstrating the juxtaposition between nations that practice recycling and those that do not. Therefore, many Americans remain willfully ignorant about the need to be future-oriented and proactive about the way their behavior impacts the rest of the world.

We must remind the youth, especially those with privilege about the importance of thinking long-term because, after all, we are the future and the way that the next century plays out will be due to our efforts.

In an age where many people would rather watch trashy reality television shows than take the time out to organize, inspire, and lead initiatives that will educate the world's citizens about the way in which recycling can help the world, means that we must have a revolution of values in this country.
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