Studies have shown that recycling saves our nation carbon equivalent by removing 36 million cars from the road. This encompasses the whole consumer-able goods domain.
Did you Toss that Can? That’ll be 3 Hours of TV Shows!
Let’s begin with our favorite consumer good, the beverage can. Americans use billions of aluminum beverage cans every year. The bad news is that most of those cans go to landfills, are littered, or incinerated. Our natural environment is not capable of absorbing the impact this has on the ecosystem all around the world. The good news is that aluminum can be infinitely recycled back into new cans and at a discounted energy rate. A great deal of energy and other resources can be saved if we send our used aluminum cans and other municipal waste materials to recycling plants.
So, how exactly do we save energy by recycling? Statistically speaking, Americans recycled 61 billion aluminum cans in 2011. Given that, manufacturing cans from recycled aluminum costs 95% less energy than making new cans from virgin ore, the practice can save U.S energy equivalent to 17 million barrels of crude oil. In more practical terms this means that recycling a single aluminum can save enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours; your television for three hours; or your computer for 2 hours! In total, recycling will surely gain us a whole lot of recovered resources!
The Entire Air Fleet 25 times over!
Between 1990 and 2000, Americans wasted a total of 7.1 million tons of cans, enough to manufacture 316,000 Boeing 737 airplanes or enough to reproduce the world’s entire commercial air fleet 25 times. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, Americans have thrown away 910 billion cans worth over $25 billion in current dollars as reported by Container Recycling Institute’s report (2002).
Recycle as a Cause
We love our progress and the fantastic world we have managed to create. It has come at a cost though. Our lifestyles have become exceedingly fast paced and so has our dependence on industrial goods. As a nation Americans spent $1.03 trillion dollars on consuming goods and services in 2010. Furthermore, an average American spends $10,000 on electronics that are likely to become redundant within a few years. Where will all that new material and stuff go to after it has met its use, or outlived it? Our planet cannot handle this burden. It is now our responsibility to aid each other in sustaining our efforts.
Have recyclable materials sent to their rightful destinations by contacting your nearest service provider.
www.economist.com – www.kab.org/site – www.nrdc.org – www.seas.columbia.edu – www.dailyfinance.com – wiki.answers.com
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