Saturday, 26 September 2015

Yes, Virginia, Recycling Really Does Help Save the Planet in Three Important Ways

While the debate continues about whether recycling can actually rescue the planet, here are three vital ways in which it is already rescuing the third rock from the sun.

One, recycling saves trees. Paper consumption remains at the base of the consumer-use pyramid. Americans alone use more than 90 million short tons of paper and paperboard every year. That amounts to each person using an average of 700 pounds of paper products each year to the tune of 2 billion books, 350 million magazines and 24 billion newspapers. Another way to think about it is that it takes about 500,000 trees to generate each week’s Sunday newspapers. In other words, recycling just a single run of the Sunday New York Time would save about 75,000 trees. Recycling plainly helps reduce the number of trees that are cut down each year to produce these and other products.

Two, recycling saves energy. Recycled paper requires less energy to manufacture than creating new paper from trees. Energy comes in many forms, including that which equipment uses to cut down the trees, the transportation that is required to move the trees to the paper mills, and the manufacture of new paper in Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plants, which also produce carbon emissions. In addition, it takes three gallons of water to produce just one sheet of paper. Recycling significantly reduces the large environmental footprints of producing paper and other manufactured goods. Glass and aluminum require substantially less energy to recycle into refurbished products than creating them new from raw materials. For example, it takes about 95% more energy to produce a new aluminum can than the 5% it takes to re-create one from recycled aluminum.

Three, recycling saves money. Selling or gifting your recyclables to organizations that accept these donations allows those goods to be used by others with little to no cost. It further provides you with the ability to claim a tax deduction for the donation. Moreover, when you purchase goods made from recycled items, they tend to be less expensive while being gentler to the planet. Other ways recycling saves money is it enables you to use things like eggshells, vegetable peelings and similar items as fertilizer, avoiding the need to buy costly, unhealthy fertilizer from the store. Shopping for like-new items in thrift shops and consignment stores, rather than paying the full retail price, also considerably reduces the cost of clothing and lightens environmental footsteps on the big, blue marble called home. Reusing containers, jars, plastic bags and boxes not only saves money, but also makes sense – and cents. 

Visit this website to learn more about appliance recycling in Santa Clara and how recycling saves the planet and your wallet.

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