While we’ve certainly come a long way as a country in “going green,” there is still much room for improvement. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that while 85% of all household garbage could be recycled, we’re still not recycling even half of that. So, as the week of America Recycles Day draws to a close, here are a few Recycling Facts & Figures to help motivate you to keep recycling throughout the year.
Plastic Recycling – Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the State of Texas. American go through 25 billion plastic bottles each year. If we recycled just one out of every ten, plastic landfill waste would be reduced by 200 million pounds each year.
Metal Recycling – Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough electricity to power a 100-watt light bulb for three hours. And for every one ton of steel recycled, 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone are conserved.
Water – the average American now uses an average of 100 gallons of water daily – that’s enough water to fill 1,600 drinking glasses! On the other hand, if all the homes installed water-efficient appliances, the U.S. would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and over $18 billion a year.
Styrofoam – Every year, we throw away 25 billion Styrofoam cups, enough to circle the earth 436 times. Styrofoam is NOT recyclable. Don’t buy it and don’t use it!
Junk Mail – the junk mail Americans receive in one day could produce energy sufficient to heat 250,000 homes. If only 100,000 people stopped their junk mail, we could save up to 150,000 trees annually. Not only the forests would gain – you would gain time as well: the average American spends eight months out of his/her life opening junk mail!