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Top 10 Reasons to Recycle

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 - LET’S MAKE SURE THEY ARE RECYCLED! 1. Good For The Economy Companies rely on recycling programs to provide the raw materials they need to make new products. Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours! 2. Creates Jobs Recycling in the U.S. alone is a $236 billion a year industry. More than 56,000 recycling and reuse enterprises employ 1.1 million workers nationwide. 3. Reduces Waste 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. 4. Good For The Environment Recycling requires far less energy, uses fewer natural resources, and keeps waste from piling up in landfills. 5. Saves Energy Recycling offers significant energy savings over manufacturing with virgin materials. (Manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95% less energy.) 6. Preserves Landfill Space Toxic pollution from landfills including cyanide, dioxins, mercury, methane, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and lead escapes into the air and leaches into groundwater. 7. Prevents Global Warming In 2000, recycling of solid waste prevented the release of 32.9 million metric tons of carbon equivalent into the air. Recycling one ton of glass results in energy savings of more than 300% and lowers carbon dioxide emissions by 3.46 tons 8. Reduces Water Pollution and the Use of Toxic Chemicals Making goods from recycled materials generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials. Making products from already refined waste materials reduces and often avoids altogether the need for manufacturers to use toxic chemicals. 9. Saves Trees and Protects Wildlife Half the Earth’s forests are gone, and up to 95 percent of the original forest area in the U.S. has been cut down. Using recycled materials reduces the need to damage forests, wetlands, rivers and other places essential to wildlife. 10. Creates New Demand Recycling and buying recycled products creates demand for more recycled products, decreasing waste and helping our economy. Recycling alone will not end resource destruction but it’s an important step along the road to a world of Zero Emissions and Zero Waste, or Z-squared. A Z-squared community promotes the sustainable and equitable use and distribution of resources. Zero Emissions refers to emissions from transportation, energy and production - choosing alternative means of travel, alternative fuels, conservation, efficiencies, and renewable, abundant and non-polluting sources of energy like wind and solar. Zero Waste refers to redesigning our production and consumption systems to use resources more efficiently, to prevent waste before it happens, and to incorporate all leftover materials back into the production cycle rather than discarding them as waste. If each one of us can pair Zero Emissions and Zero Waste, together we can save our planet.


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