It truly amazes me when I visit a home or an office that still doesn't recycle. Honestly, it's pretty lazy if you ask me. It is truly the easiest way to make a big impact on the environment, and in return, your health. Recycling reduces our reliance on landfills and incinerators, it removes harmful substances from our waste stream and it preserves our natural resources. It's simple to designate a separate garbage for recyclable items or even a cute eco-box like mine from Vivaterra (shown here). Need more incentive?
The National Recycling Coalition reports:
- The average American discards seven and a half pounds of garbage every day. Most of this garbage goes into to landfills, where it's compacted and buried.
- Recycling in the U.S. is a $236 billion a year industry. More than 56,000 recycling and reuse enterprises employ 1.1 million workers nationwide.
- In 2000, recycling of solid waste prevented the release of 32.9 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE, the unit of measure for greenhouse gases) into the air.
-Five plastic soda bottles yield enough fiber for one extra large T-shirt, one square foot of carpet, or enough to fill for one ski jacket.
-Making glass from recycled products cuts related water pollution by 50 percent.
-Recycling one glass jar saves enough electricity to light a conventional 60-watt bulb for four hours or an 11-watt fluorescent bulb for 20 hours.
-Americans throw our enough office paper each year to build a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to Seattle.
-Making paper from recycled paper reduces contribution to air pollution by 95 percent.
-Recycling a stack of paper just three feet high saves one tree.
-Recycling a single aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours.
-The average person has the opportunity to recycle 25,000 cans in their lifetime.
-Every three months, Americans landfill enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
Ready to get started? Your first step should be learning what your community recycling guidelines are by doing an online search or visiting your local government's website. For New York City's guide click here. Or find a local recycling center in your area by clicking here.
Share your recycling tips or comments below.