Good Earth Recycling Club

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why go green

You've likely noticed that "going green" is everywhere these days--in the news, politics, technology, and even fashion. You can hardly escape it from most angles of your life. But, what's the real point of going green, and is it worth the trouble? We probably all have a general idea that going green helps the environment and saves resources and rainforests. But embracing a greener lifestyle isn't just about helping to preserve rain forests; it is also about improving your health, saving you money, and ultimately, improving your overall quality of life.

While it's easy to get overwhelmed with the stream of "go green" information everywhere, it's also easy to begin making a positive impact. As globalization decreases the size of the planet in terms of contact, communication, and interaction with people around the world, it becomes increasingly easy to see how the lives of people, animals, plants, and ecosystems everywhere are closely tied to one another. So, pesticides used in Bolivia can affect the health of people in the U.S., toys made in China can affect the quality of life in Europe and greenhouse gas emissions from Australia can affect a thinning rainforest in Brazil.

The truth is, everything we do, every day, good or bad, has an impact on the planet.

The good news is that you have the power to control most of your choices at the individual level and, therefore, the control the global impact you create:

  • Where you live
  • What you buy, eat, and use
  • Where and how you vacation
  • How you shop or vote

For example, did you know that 25% of all Western pharmaceuticals are derived from plants that come from the Amazon rainforest? As it turns out, less than one percent of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists. These numbers suggest that we all have a large personal stake in the health and vitality of places far and near and that this stake is growing. It benefits everyone on the planet to help keep our wild spaces alive and growing.

Environmental Recycling Benefits and Facts
information supplied by: National Recycling Coalition

Bullet Recycling and composting diverted nearly 70 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators in 2000, up from 34 million tons in 1990-doubling in just 10 years.
Bullet Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees.
Bullet The energy we save when we recycle one glass bottle is enough to light a light bulb for four hours.
Bullet Recycling benefits the air and water by creating a net reduction in ten major categories of air pollutants and eight major categories of water pollutants.
Bullet In the U.S., processing minerals contributes almost half of all reported toxic emissions from industry, sending 1.5 million tons of pollution into the air and water each year. Recycling can significantly reduce these emissions.
Bullet It is important to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. Recycling helps us do that by saving energy.
Bullet Manufacturing with recycled materials, with very few exceptions, saves energy and water and produces less air and water pollution than manufacturing with virgin materials.
Bullet It takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to make it from raw materials. Making recycled steel saves 60%, recycled newspaper 40%, recycled plastics 70%, and recycled glass 40%. These savings far outweigh the energy created as by-products of incineration and landfilling.
Bullet In 2000, recycling resulted in an annual energy savings equal to the amount of energy used in 6 million homes (over 660 trillion BTUs). In 2005, recycling is conservatively projected to save the amount of energy used in 9 million homes (900 trillion BTUs).
Bullet A national recycling rate of 30% reduces greenhouse gas emissions as much as removing nearly 25 million cars from the road.
Bullet Recycling conserves natural resources, such as timber, water, and minerals.
Bullet Every bit of recycling makes a difference. For example, one year of recycling on just one college campus, Stanford University, saved the equivalent of 33,913 trees and the need for 636 tons of iron ore, coal, and limestone.
Bullet Recycled paper supplies more than 37% of the raw materials used to make new paper products in the U.S. Without recycling, this material would come from trees. Every ton of newsprint or mixed paper recycled is the equivalent of 12 trees. Every ton of office paper recycled is the equivalent of 24 trees.
Bullet When one ton of steel is recycled, 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone are conserved.
Bullet Brutal wars over natural resources, including timber and minerals, have killed or displaced more than 20 million people and are raising at least $12 billion a year for rebels, warlords, and repressive governments. Recycling eases the demand for the resources.
Bullet Mining is the world's most deadly occupation. On average, 40 mine workers are killed on the job each day, and many more are injured. Recycling reduces the need for mining.
Bullet Tree farms and reclaimed mines are not ecologically equivalent to natural forests and ecosystems.
Bullet Recycling prevents habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, and soil erosion associated with logging and mining.
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