3 Reasons To Do More in the United States
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2011 every person in the United States generated an average of 4.4 pounds of garbage each day. The EPA estimates around 1.53 pounds of that per-person figure was recycled, but there are a number of reasons why we should recycle more.
Turn Garbage into Funds
Even though Americans recycled over 80 million tons in 2009, there were plenty of recyclables left in the waste stream. In fact, if Americans had recycled every possible item in 2009, the funds and savings generated by that effort would equal more than $7 billion! With national — and individual — debt a growing topic of concern, generating savings by being more careful about garbage may be an appealing idea to many.
Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Waste disposal results in increased CO2 emissions. And the more we recycle, the cleaner we leave the air. According to the EPA, Americans recycled or composted close to 87 million tons of material in 2011. That effort reduced CO2 emissions by over 180 million metric tons. You would have to take over 30 million cars off the road to get that type of reduction! Since people are fairly tied to their automobiles, recycling is an easy way to address CO2 concerns across the country.
The EPA estimates that American food waste reaches 33 million tons each year. Recycling food on a compost heap is a green way to promote the growth of future food. Recycling aluminum, glass, and plastic also reduces waste. When you toss an item in the garbage can, it is buried in a landfill and its potential is gone. When you toss the same item into a recycling bin, its potential is realized as it becomes another functional item, reducing the need for manufacturers to seek other raw resources.
Why We Should Recycle More
Those are just three reasons why we should recycle more. What other reasons would you add to our list?