Thursday, April 22, 2010

MAM Day 22: Earth Day

Today is Earth Day! Earth Day was started in 1970 to honor the Earth and to acknowledge our relationship to the environment. Many people around the world have special events to commemorate and education about keeping the environment healthy. Environmental activists and organizations try to start dialogs on major environmental issues and then work together to come up with effective strategies to tackle the issues.

Although I'm not an evironmental activist, there are a few things I know how to do to keep the environment safe and healthy. The bulk of today's post are facts and figures on recycling: help save the Earth by recycling! A little extra work goes a long way. Recycling statistics prove that recycling is helping to make the world a better place :)

Facts from Clearwater Florida
*The average American uses 650 lbs. of paper per year.
*100 million tons of wood could be saved each year if all that paper was actually recycled!

An hour of plastic bottles

*Americans go through 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. We go through 25 billion plastic bottles every year.
*Recycling aluminum saves about 95% of the energy it would take to produce aluminum from its original source, bauxite.
*Recycling one aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a TV for three hours.
*Through recycling each year, the steel industry saves enough energy to power 18 million homes - one-fifth of the households in the US.

Facts from my alma mater, Oberlin, Ohio where I realized how easy it is to recycle.
*About 75 percent of the water we use in our homes is used in the bathroom.
*Letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.

*Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are an energy-saving alternative to incandescent bulbs — they produce the same amount of light, use one third of the electricity, and last up to ten times as long.
*If every household replaced its most often-used incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, electricity use for lighting could be cut in half.

*Many idle electronics — TVs, VCRs, DVD and CD players, cordless phones, microwaves — use energy even when switched off to keep display clocks lit and memory chips and remote controls working. Nationally, these energy “vampires” use 5 percent of our domestic energy and cost consumers more than $8 billion annually. Use this handy energy calculator to see how much energy and money it costs to leave idle electronics.

Instead of using one of these natural monuments every year, we can recycle and save incredible amounts of energy

*Each of us uses approximately one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products per year.
*More than 56 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. during 2007 was recovered for recycling — an all-time high. This impressive figure equals nearly 360 pounds of paper for each man, woman, and child in America.
*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.

*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.)

*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.


* In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his/her adult weight in garbage. If you add it up, this means that a 150-lb. adult will leave a legacy of 90,000 lbs of trash for his/her children.

Earth 911 a great resource for environmentalism. A list of all recyclable products Boston recycles all plastics except for styrofoam! Back at Oberlin we could only recycle #1 and #2 plastics, but you don't have to separate out any plastics here! Awesome!

Boston's polices on recycling. You can also search by neighborhood/street when the City picks up trash and recycling as well.


1 comment:

  1. Minh, Thanks for all of the great, informative and fun information over the past month. I've really enjoyed your blog this month. Keep it up!