11 February 2011

Team Whitehead Recycling

Bas pushing Gman in the Paper Bin!

In an effort to educate Bastian about the importance of recycling and being a good steward, Tony and I have decided to make sure that we know what we are talking about! 

We've been recycling and composting for quite some time, but I couldn't tell you the real reasons. Other than the normal "It saves energy" or "it keeps it out of landfills"... I want to know how much energy we are talking about here and since paper breaks down relatively quickly is it actually better to recycle it, compost it, or toss it in the trash?

Gman's new favorite place to play is the recycle bin!

For anyone who is interested. 
Paper Facts:
 *Environmental Protection Agency claims that producing recycled paper requires 40 percent less energy than making paper from virgin wood. 
Recycling paper instead of making it from new material generates 74 percent less air pollution and uses 50 percent less water
Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity — enough energy to power the average American home for five months.
   So Score one for Paper Recycling!

Metal Facts:
Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum from raw materials. Energy saved from recycling one ton of aluminum is equal to the amount of electricity the average home uses over 10 years
Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours
*Americans throw out enough iron and steel to supply all the nation’s automakers on a continuous basis
The 36 billion aluminum cans landfilled last year had a scrap value of more than $600 million. (Some day we'll be mining our landfills for the resources we've buried.)
 Pretty Much a Good idea to recycle Metals as well!

Glass never wears out -- it can be recycled forever. We save over a ton of resources for every ton of glass recycled -- 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone, and 151 pounds of feldspar.
*Americans throw away enough glass bottles and jars every two weeks to fill the 1.350-foot towers of the former World Trade Center.
*Most bottles and jars contain at least 25% recycled glass.
   Toss the glass in the recycle bin! (Unless you are like me and save every last bit of glass that you can get your hands on!)

*Americans go through 25 billion plastic bottles every year.
* According to Dr. Mike Biddle, President of MBA Polymers, recycling plastics uses only roughly 10 percent of the energy that it takes to make a pound of plastic from virgin 
  Much better than not recycling- but cutting down on plastics is best!

* Un-recyclable. Stop using it!

Unfortunately as recycling technology increases, the number of items that are being recycled is not growing at the same rate. This is because consumers assume that by tossing that last water bottle in the recycle bin that they are at peace with the world and can snag another bottle out of the fridge. Recycling is not a 1:1 ratio... most of the time plastics are down-cycled and turned into something that can not be recycled. Many companies that use plastic packaging know this and use recycling to push consumerism. Why not, you can just recycle that old bottle anyhow!  This combined with the fact that 74% of plastics are NOT recycled at all, is creating a downward spiral of good intentions ending up in the garbage! 
The best alternative here is to reduce consumption overall. 

Alright, that last picture is unrelated... but I Like it!


1 comment:

  1. good work on teach the Bass-man to be responsible with the Earth!

    Love ya lots,

    Mom, aka Gramma Beth