Recycling is a habit being picked up by more and more Americans every day. But recycling rates for materials such as aluminum and paper continue to be lower in the United States than the global rate. Celebrate this America Recycles Day on November 15 by thinking about your recycling habits and looking for new ways to help your community save energy and money.
- Save Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: it almost always takes less energy, and therefore a smaller amount of greenhouse gas emissions, to make a product from recycled materials than it does to make it from new materials. A study on a group of seven often-used metals and paper estimates that recycling can save up to 500 metric tons of carbon-dioxide for every 100,000 tons of material produced.
- Save Landfill Space: decomposing waste in landfills takes up a lot of space; it also generates a lot of greenhouse gas emissions in the form of methane gas. In 2009, global landfills produced more than 12 percent of the world’s methane emissions.
- Save Money: recycling can save (or even earn!) you money. Communities around the country provide financial incentives for recycling.
- Save Jobs: Recycling creates an estimated five times as many jobs as waste disposal. The National Recycling Coalition reports that recycling supports 1.1 million jobs in the United States.
What can you do?
In a word, recycle! Start by learning more about recycling from these great resources:
- Make an Impact. The Make an Impact recycling guide identifies all of the different products in your home that can be recycled
- The Make an Impact Carbon Calculator. Be sure to check out the Make an Impact Carbon Calculator on the Make an Impact site. If you haven’t registered for the calculator and measured your carbon footprint before and after recycling, now’s the time!
- Earth911.org. This site includes a web tool that lets you find recycling resources for various products in your own zip code.
- AmericaRecyclesDay.org. See what others are doing and what you can do in your community at this official site of the celebration.