Spring is a great time to make a green resolution: recycling. If you aren’t currently recycling at your home and office, take this opportunity to consider how many resources are saved and what a hugely positive impact recycling makes—and take the necessary steps to get involved.
Here are some numbers from the Environmental Protection Agency to put the amount of waste created by Americans in perspective:
- Every year nearly 900,000,000 trees are cut down to provide raw materials for American paper and pulp mills.
- Americans throw away about 28 billion bottles and jars every year.
- Americans make more than 200 million tons of garbage each year.
- It takes an entire 15-year-old tree to produce 700 grocery bags.
- Each year Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam cups. Even 500 years from now, the foam coffee cup you used this morning will be sitting in a landfill.
For more facts on recycling, visit Recycle Across America.
Taking advantage of recycling programs can go a long way toward both reducing waste and conserving valuable resources.
- One ton of recycled plastic bottles saves enough energy to power a two-person household for a year.
- Recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to power a TV for three hours.
- Making paper from recycled materials reduces air pollution from production by 95%.
- Recycling a three-foot stack of newspapers saves one tree.
- Glass can be recycled and re-manufactured infinite times.
- Making glass from recycled materials reduces related water pollution by half.
- Recycling one glass jar saves enough electricity to light an 11-watt bulb for 20 hours.
- Recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil.
If your area doesn’t provide recycling services, consider starting a program. There are six steps outlined here for starting a recycling program. To learn more on how recycling can help you and the environment, visit the EPA.
Thank you for reducing, reusing and recycling, to help protect our planet.