Ah, January. The month where I create what feels like a million end-of-the-year reports for counties, cities, huge organizations, businesses of all sizes and my favorite – the homeowners. I look at how well everyone is recycling, how they did compared to a year ago and with this information try to figure out how we can best offer recycling incentives and solutions when there is a dip in numbers. This year we have some great news to report out. We actually recycled 4,235 tons of material last year which translates to a standard football field filled with recycling 6.2 feet deep!
YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE! A big one in fact, for doing a simple, small thing: recycling. I like to think of it as treasure separation as my dog seems to think of it, but any way you look at it, the environment wins. Jobs are created. My family gets to continue eating and mother earth smiles.
How much can you keep from the actual trash? According to a USDA study, on average every person throws away seven and a half times their body weight each year. Wow. That’s a lot of ‘stuff’ going to a landfill to sit for potentially millions of years before it will break down. I love facts, here are some new ones from data collected in 2009 by the Environmental Protection Agency. Here are a few more facts I found interesting*:
1. The average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.
2. Over 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it.
3. We generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road.
4. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod. Recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks.
Recycling isn’t hard – I’m so proud of the customers we currently have who are actively making a difference. What kills me are the people who don’t ‘get it’ or choose to ‘ignore recycling’ or, better, who tell others it ‘isn’t a good option’ for this or that reason.
I say—just try it. (This is where I have Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham playing in my head….) “Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!” My version is inserting ‘recycling’ into that verse and omitting ‘green eggs and ham,’ but you got that already.
I read a great quote the other day which goes; “We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.” – Frank Tibolt
Know of a neighbor or business near you who just tosses everything away? Instead of quietly ignoring them this year, send them a note and tell them Green Girl will recycle for them—and to get the chance to prove recycling is a better choice, we’ll recycle for them for the 1st month free. Yup, I said FREE. Action generates inspiration – let’s test it on those who think recycling isn’t really a great option or too hard. It’s not; it’s just what you choose to do with your waste. Take this one small action; we will do the rest.
Facts collected from the Environmental Protection Agency (2009)