Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

If you ask me, every day should be Earth Day. Our planet has a limited amount of resources and we need to stop taking them for granted, if not for our sake, for the sake of our children and grandchildren. If you’re new to the whole green scene, an easy first step is purchasing and using reusable shopping bags. A few years back a group of friends and I ordered bags from I still use the very same bags. They are incredibly durable and have many uses. I keep them in my car to avoid forgetting them.

The next step you can and should take is recycling. There are SO many benefits to recycling, not just for our beautiful planet, but for our economy as well. And right now, our economy can use all the help it can get! The National Recycling Coalition gives us the Top 10 Reasons to Recycle:

1. Good For Our Economy
American companies rely on recycling programs to provide the raw materials they need to make new products.

2. Creates Jobs
Recycling in the U.S. 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
No one wants to live next door to a landfill. Recycling preserves existing landfill space.
7. Prevents Global Warming
In 2000, recycling of solid waste prevented the release of 32.9 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE, the unit of measure for greenhouse gases) into the air.

8. Reduces Water Pollution
Making goods from recycled materials generates far less water pollution than manufacturing from virgin materials.

9. Protects Wildlife
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.2.5.
If you’re fortunate enough to live in a city that provides you with a curbside recycling program, there really is no reason not to participate, is there? Especially if they don’t require you to sort your recyclables. I keep a garbage can in one of my kitchen cabinets that is just big enough to fit a paper grocery bag. I think I purchased it at Lowes for about $5. I toss all of my recyclables in there and take them out to the bin when it fills up. This is just as easy as taking out the trash! Unfortunately, not all cities are up to date with a recycling program. If not, there is probably at least a recycling center in your area, but I would encourage you to do what you can to convince your city to start a curbside recycling program. Write your mayor, go to town hall meetings, rally the neighbors, etc. Your kids will thank you some day!

There are a number of other ways to be green. I also compost, and will write about that in the near future. What do you do in an effort to be green?

1 comment:

  1. Recycling is big in our house. I think if we composted we really wouldn't have much trash at all.

    I do like my go-again bags but the big canvas ones my mom give me are my favorite.

    I totally dig the fact that my hubby carpools.

    We also use BPA free reusable water bottles and coffee mugs.