That is a great question, which seeks to probe deeper than the call to recycle. If we want to go in this direction, there are a few ways to go, but we must be able to harness the elements of the earth in a way that is efficient and effective. Some suggestions are: water power, wind power, solar power and something that you might not be positive about, nuclear power. In my opinion, the sun is the best way to go and there have been some steps in this direction. If we are able to use the power of the sun for energy, we may potentially solve our energy crisis.
Speaking specifically about nuclear power plants, it will be difficult for us to avoid nuclear plants if we want to have our electricity be generated without producing greenhouse gasses. At the present time, nuclear power is a good way of producing a lot of power without emitting such gasses.
If we are to make power without nuclear plants and without emitting greenhouse gases, we must improve our technology and reduce our use of energy. We must improve technology so as to make it possible to use wind, geothermal, waves, solar, and other kinds of power more efficiently and cheaply. This will not be easy and will likely take some time.
Nuclear war materials and test explosions are principal sources of radioactive wastes in the atmosphere,soil and water .Nuclear power plants generate electricity by splitting uranium to produce heat and drive turbines. The safe storage and disposal of nuclear waste is a significant challenge and yet unresolved problem. The most important waste stream from nuclear power plants is spent fuel.The amount of waste can be reduced in several ways, particularly reprocessing.
Reprocessing can potentially recover up to 95% of the remaining uranium and plutonium in spent nuclear fuel, putting it into new mixed oxide fuel.. This produces a reduction in long term radioactivity within the remaining waste, since this is largely short-lived fission products, and reduces its volume by over 90%. Reprocessing of civilian fuel from power reactors is currently done on largre scale in Britain, France and (formerly) Russia, soon will be done in China and perhaps India, and is being done on an expanding scale in Japan.
Our society has become interdependent on nuclear energy and non-renewable sources of energy. Research is underway to try and harness renewable energy from the sun, wind, hydro energy, and natural elements such as corn. In order for humanity to become dependent on alternative sources of energy mankind must engage in further research on alternative sources for energy.
During the Clinton administration there was increased hope that green energies would become the prominent means of energy. With the world's population increasing rapidly and more nations becoming dependent on fossil fuels, alternatives are needed immediately.
There are at present no viable options as a massive replacement resource for energy. Each of the primary areas currently has problems that make them difficult to provide energy to a mass population. However, research continues to be preformed on geothermal energy alternatives, solar energy, hydrogen energy alternatives, hydro energy, and wind harnessing and conversion.
Using products that can be recycled and avoiding the ones that cannot be recycled takes conscience effort. First, you have to be careful how you shop and pay attention to the materials that the packaging is made from. Second, recycling requires focused thought and setting up a system where you can separate your trash and your recyclables easily.
In terms of clean energy, I agree that avoiding nuclear power will be challenging if we are to reduce greenhouse gases. The technology for cleaner energy is available but is very expensive and until the cost of these energy sources can be managed, the public will have a hard time accepting alternative methods that may double their monthly energy bills.