November 15, 2018 is “America Recycles Day.” The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that recycling has tripled in the last 30 years. Recycling is important because it reduces the amount of items that end up in landfills and helps preserve natural resources such as trees and water. It reduces pollution, saves energy, and creates jobs.
Did you know recycling has been around for centuries? In the 9th century, Japanese often recycled paper and used it for writings and paintings. In the 17th century, the Rittenhouse Mill in Philadelphia began recycling linen and cotton rags to create paper. In the 18th century, leaders like Paul Revere and George Washington urged Americans to repurpose items during the Revolutionary War. In the 19th century, peddlers often purchased recyclable materials from houses they visited. During the Great Depression, families often reused and repurposed household items to save money. In WWII, Americans were encouraged to ration items and collect scrap metal to do their part for the war effort. Another popular way to recycle in the 20th century was in the form of bottle-return deposits.
By the 1970s, Americans had become more environmentally-conscious with the advent of government-run recycling programs, the now-famous symbol of circling arrows, and the celebration of Earth Day every April. The 1980s through the 1990s saw further government involvement with recycling laws and bans on waste in landfills. In just a few decades, city recycling programs went from a couple hundred to tens of thousands. Currently, recycling is more popular than ever before after the EPA found a link between global warming and consumer waste.
You can do your part to recycle at home by using food scraps and grass clippings to create compost for your garden. Turn off or unplug lamps and appliances when not in use. Instead of throwing out old clothes, toys, and books, considering donating them or selling them at a yard sale. To clean your house, use reusable rags rather than paper towels and use biodegradable cleaning products instead of chemicals. You can also help the environment at work by carpooling with co-workers and saving electronic files to your computer rather than printing hard copies. For your coffee, use a travel mug instead of a Styrofoam or paper cup. And with the holidays coming up, bring your own reusable bags to stores for your gift purchases and consider giving homemade gifts. You could also send electronic gift certificates and greeting cards as well as recycle used wrapping paper. If you’re hosting a party, use cloth napkins and reusable dishes, glasses, and silverware rather than disposable ones.
At Budzar Industries, we care about the environment. That’s why we offer products such as our low-charge ammonia chillers, which won’t deplete the ozone layer. To learn more about these chillers check out https://www.budzar.com/low-charge-ammonia-chiller/ and to learn more about the importance of recycling, read these facts courtesy of http://americanlifestylemag.com/culture/green-living/then-and-now-the-evolution-of-recycling/
- Roughly 80% of the items buried in landfills could be recycled.
- Although 75% of America’s waste is recyclable, we only recycle around 30% of it. If we’re able to get the rate to 75%, the effect will be like removing 50 million passenger cars from U.S. roads.
- A single recycled plastic bottle saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours. It also creates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than would be created when making a new bottle.
- Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as it takes to burn it.
- It takes 500 years for average-sized plastic water bottles to fully decompose.
- The energy it takes to make 1.5 million tons of plastic could power 250,000 homes.
- There are 25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean.
- Glass bottles take 4,000 years to decompose.
- Americans use 65 billion aluminum soda cans each year.
- Aluminum cans make up less than 1% of waste in the U.S. because they are the #1 recycled item.
- While celebrating the holidays, Americans will produce an additional 5 million tons of waste (4 million of the 5 million tons consist of wrapping paper and shopping bags).
- The energy used to create and distribute junk mail in the U.S. for one day could heat 250,000 homes.
- The average office worker in the U.S. goes through roughly 500 disposable cups annually.
- If one-tenth of all discarded American newspapers were recycled annually, approximately 25 million trees would be saved.