What You Didn’t Know About Recycling
American businesses alone produce enough paper to circle the globe 40 times every day. This is why it is imperative that we recycle. But 17 states don’t do it. Why is that? The answer may surprise you. First, let’s begin with the fantastic benefits of recycling.
Did you know?
- An aluminum can that is recycled is put back on the shelf in 60 days as good as new.
- One aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a TV going for 3 hours which is comparable to using half a gallon of gasoline.
- One aluminum can that isn’t recycled can exist for 500 years.
- If all of us recycled paper thousands of trees could be saved each year.
- Recycling produces four jobs to every one job in waste management.
Next, let’s discuss those who do and can recycle. You may do it because that’s what you were taught (like me) or because you understand the merits of what it does for our community, economy and world.
Did you know?
- 80% of what Americans throw in the trash is recyclable however only about 28% of us recycle.
- Plastic is found in the stomachs of creatures all the time and is digested by fish that are then digested by us causing us to consume toxic chemicals unknowingly.
- Plastic bags are not biodegradable which means it can never be a part of our natural environment.
- Every 3 seconds 140 cans are made. That’s 4 million cans per day. Stacked on top of one another they would reach 305 miles into earth’s upper atmosphere—daily!
- A 15 year old tree is required to produce 700 grocery bags. The U.S. cuts down more than 14 million trees a year to supply the demand for paper shopping bags.
Remember the question in the first part of this article? Why is it that 17 of our states do not recycle? Well, there are no laws mandating it, and some states don’t have programs available to consumers due to the high costs of recycling. If you’ve never been in a part of the country where recycling is unavailable, it may surprise you to know that people in rural areas often burn their trash in a barrel in the back yard. Those living in towns throw everything—cardboard, cans, bottles, bags—into the dumpster to be hauled off to a landfill.
Recycling may be time consuming and expensive but as a society we must look at the bigger picture, and take on the responsibility of creating a better environment for future generations. Unfortunately, in order to supply the demand of consumers, businesses will continue to use packaging that is harmful to our environment. While we may feel helpless against these big corporations, don’t forget that we each have a voice. I am using mine to write this article. What can you do with yours?
More Great Reading