Kick the can-tossing habit
Over the course of a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her weight in garbage. Do the math: This means an adult weighing 150 pounds will leave a legacy of 90,000 pounds of trash. Yuck.
Recycling all of a home’s newsprint, cardboard, glass and aluminum can help reduce the impact on our landfills. The effort will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas, by 850 pounds a year.
Statistics on aluminum cans alone are surprising. Between 1970 and 2003, one trillion aluminum cans (worth well over $15 billion) were sent to U.S. landfills. Americans throw away enough aluminum every three months to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
The energy required to replace the aluminum cans wasted in 2001 was equivalent to 16 million barrels of crude oil—enough to meet the electricity needs of all the homes in Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco and Seattle. Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television set for three hours or light a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours.
If that doesn’t convince you to recycle, maybe this will: Aluminum cans are the most valuable beverage containers to recycle. The California Refund Valueas of July 1 is a nickel for containers less than 24 ounces and a dime for containers 24 ounces and larger. The state has about 2,100 certified recycling centers for your convenience.
So think twice before putting that soda can in the trash.