Saturday, August 9, 2008

Guest Post- Recycling Facts You Should Know

Recycling Facts You Should Know About

Why recycle you ask? The benefits of recycling have a tremendous impact on the planet. Why do we care about the planet? The future of your children and their children are depending on it! With the way the economy has been lately, more and more people have started to recycle. It can be a great way to earn a little extra cash but the economy will eventually get better (hopefully). We as American's need to continue to recycle not just for monetary reasons but for planetary ones also. As American's we produce a lot of waste. We're the leaders in having a GIANT carbon footprint. It's outrageous. They're are plenty of reasons to recycle- know the facts first, then start with the basics and let your recycling imagination take over. Once you learn about all the recyclable's you can start to manage them and dispose of them properly. Many people think recycling is time consuming. It's really just another step added into your day- like anything else, once you incorporate it into your daily routine it becomes part of your life. Recycling should be mandatory, especially in places where landfills are at their maximum. I just heard the other day somewhere that Oregonian's recycle 50% of their waste - good for them! I live in California, and would love to say we're recycling fools...and top the 50% number...!! Someday maybe.

Every little bit counts- which is why I'm encouraging you to start recycling and making a difference. If you don't already have a recycling bin provided by your local trash company (not sure how it works in each state). Here in Ca., Waste Management provides us with a bin strictly for recycling. I can't even begin to tell you how much of what we would've considered normal trash goes into the recycling bin- it's amazing! There isn't a need for us to put our trash can out every week either. It doesn't fill up as fast when you're monitoring what's trash and what's recyclable. You'll soon see that your recycling waste will become the majority of regular trash that was normally being thrown away! On top of that, if you're composting a lot of your kitchen scraps that will eventually turn into methane gas in landfills (major contributor of Global Warming) become nourishment for your garden or worms if you're vermicomposting- We're doing both! You can get tips on how to compost here-

For now, remember that when you're recycling you're cutting back on the amount of waste that would otherwise enter a landfill. The majority of items in a landfill are recyclables...I witnessed this recently, when I took a trip to our local dump! We need to be more eco-conscious of the waste we're creating and stop the potential toxic chemicals that could enter the Earth. I try my hardest to buy things that are unpackaged and try not to buy plastic whenever possible. Purchasing less packaged items, especially individually packaged items- means less waste. When I do buy packaged, I purchase items that are favorable to recycle such as glass. Plastic = Chemicals, no good! Unless, it's BPA free but even then...opt for a more sustainable option. Plus, a lot of the plastic used for packaging does not have a redemption value which and most recycling centers will not take them- but luckily, some do! Which is why it's important to have the recycling bin through Waste Management or other trash company in your area because all numbers are accepted! There's no worry.

What should you be recycling and keeping out of landfills!
Any and all...
E-Waste- Batteries, Cell Phones, Computers- E- Waste is a biggie because these items are highly toxic! Car batteries, motor oil and paint
Paper, Plastic, Glass, Aluminum, Steel, and Copper

When you think about paper it's not just the newspaper it's all the junk mail, phone books, magazines, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, cardboard boxes, note paper- etc. A great thing to know, too, is that you don't have to worry about scraping out the peanut butter jar or mayo, just toss right into the recycling bin! Be sure that you keep these separate from your paper items because you don't want to contaminate a load. I learned this when I did an article for local paper in town about recycling and contacted Waste Management. One big reason why pizza boxes aren't allowed in the bin. Paper products cannot be recycled when they've come into contact with moisture. Remember, deodorant and chopstick containers can be recycled too-and as for razors- Green Daily recently posted on 5 ways to recycle them!! Don't forget to add aluminum foil or aluminum take out trays to your crate of cans. Soup cans or any canned item can be added to your curbside recycle bin. Otherwise, find a recycling center near you that accepts it.

Check out these facts and remember to RECYCLE. IT'S RAD!

- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours - or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.
- An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
- If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.
- 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 trees per year!
- Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away ever year in the U.S.
- Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
- A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose -- and even longer if it's in the landfill.
- Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, re-refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil.
- About one-third of an average dump is made up of packaging material
- More than 20,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of aluminum foil. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it.
- Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted.
- The US population discards each year 16,000,000,000 diapers, 1,600,000,000 pens, 2,000,000,000 razor blades, 220,000,000 car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over. On average, each one of us produces 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day. This adds up to almost a ton of trash per person, per year.

Leslie, aka- La Mama' Naturale is a green mommy blogger who stay's at home caring for her eco wee one and is the author of Recycle Your Day. She currently blogs about environmentalism, going green and natural mothering.


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