Green & Energy
Neat Facts About Recycling
Recycling is crucial for ensuring the longevity of the earth. With more carbon emissions entering the atmosphere from industrial production, and more trees being cut down for lumber, paper, etc. today, the greenhouse effect is becoming more and more apparent. With recycling, people can help to reduce the harm that we’ve caused through pollution and waste.
Recycle can be very interesting, even fun. Read on for some cool facts about the recycling process:
Be Waste Wise
You might not believe it, but the average American throws away 1.5 tons of trash every year, a whopping 3.5 pounds per day. That’s a lot of trash! So much trash, that if we added up all the trash we’ve produced we’d have enough to circle the earth. 24 times. With just one year’s worth of trash. And it’s not just trash we’re wasting: we waste about 21.5 millions tons of food per year and we throw away 25,000,000 plastic water bottles every hour. In one year, Americans throw away an average of 9 million tons of glass, and 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam cups.
Now that you have some context on how much the average American consumes, wouldn’t it be interesting to know how helpful recycling all that waste would be? Researchers estimate that one ton of paper from recycled pulp saves “17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 7000 gallons of water, enough energy to heat a home for year, 390 gallons of gas, and prevents 60 pounds of air pollutants.”
If that isn’t enough, for every 2000 pounds of newspaper recycled, 15 trees and enough energy to power a television for over 24 hours are saved. If we composted the food that we waste every year (21.5 million tons), we could reduce the amount of CO2 and other harmful gases caused by pollutants by the same amount as taking 2 million vehicles off the road. If it’s money you’re concerned about, consider this: last year, 36 billion aluminum cans were placed in landfills around the country. It’s estimated that the scrap value of those cans is more than $600 million. If we accumulated the value of cans tossed over the past 12 years, they would be worth more than $12 billion today.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Nobody wants to be wasteful: sometimes people just don’t know how to conserve. So here are a few tips: most people living in America can recycle through curbside bin programs. Take advantage of those, and make sure to separate your glass out if your municipality requires it. Also, take advantages of the bins you see around campus, at work, or at the store, being careful to separate plastic, glass, and paper.
Instead of buying plastic water bottles, use a reusable bottle. The same goes for coffee; purchase a reusable mug that you can fill (most coffee shops even offer discounts if you bring in your own mug!) Consider starting a home compost system — it will be great for your garden. Finally, be aware of how much electricity, water, and gas you use around the home or office. If you conserve, you can save!
Along with recycling, Jeremy Moorland writes on green living, environmental science, plastic tanks, conservation and other related matters.
Image credit goes to lydia_shiningbrightly.
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