- We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year.
- Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled item in the U.S., but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.
- A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days.
- The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees.
This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 (2 billion) trees per year!
- We throw away enough paper and wood each year to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
- Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
- The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year.
Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
- If all our newspapers were recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
- Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away!
- Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!
- Recycling plastic can save twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
- Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year. Glass
- Every month, we throw out enough glass bottles and jars to fill a giant skyscraper – all of which are recyclable! A glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose ‐‐ longer if it’s in the landfill.
- The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100‐watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
- Mining and transporting raw materials for glass produces about 385 pounds of waste for every ton of glass that is made. If recycled glass is substituted for half of the raw materials, the waste is cut by more than 80%.
- An estimated 80,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres of space ‐‐ that’s almost 40 football fields. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
- Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute!
- A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water. Motor oil never wears out; it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re‐refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
- A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That’s a lot of containers ‐‐ make sure they’re recycled!
National Garden Clubs, Inc. 11 | P a g e ecology WARRIORS, October 2014