How much garbage do you think your household consumes in a day?
If you're an average American, you are contributing nearly 4.5 pounds a day. Damn! That's over -250 million tons- of garbage that is carted off to landfills every year in America.
This landmass then emits toxic chemicals, such as methane, that creeps into the ecosystem as the garbage decomposes and leaks into the ground, threatening the water supply, and also evaporates in the air.
We Americans spend 3-5 times more time shopping than our European counterparts and out of all the material items that we purchase, only 1% of those items are still in use 6 months after we buy them.
Every year, Americans use 1 billion shopping bags, creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste. Every hour, we use 2.5 million plastic bottles, 90% of which end up in landfills where they will not decompose for thousands of years.
Nearly 30 percent of trash in landfills is paper; 18 percent is food scraps and 16 percent is plastics.
That means that 64 percent of the shit found in landfills can be easily recycled, reused and composted with just a little bit of advanced planning!
The energy saved by recycling one glass bottle would run a computer for 30 minutes. Recycling 1 ton of mixed paper saves the energy equivalent of 185 gallons on gasoline.
It only takes a small shift in the way you think. So...consume consciously! Consider whether or not you really need something before you buy it. Try Craigslist or thrift stores before going to big box retailers. Purchase products that are made of recycled materials or come in less packaging. And don't forget to compost!
Think about it - so much of what you use can be recycled, composted, or just not bought. Let's all try and make an effort to be more conscientious about our consumption. Spread the word!
And by "Us" I mean people who have already discovered how easy it is to be more sustainable in our everyday lives. For more info, see what our friends have to say about their role in saving our freakin' planet!