The three R’s to help the planet Earth are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Have you started recycling? I started to become more of a recycler myself when becoming a home owner. When I was growing up, my parents would have their aluminum cans recycled. Also, another way that my parents and I have recycled is through having garage sales and donating used items. I have become more concerned about the amount of trash that takes up space on Earth. When I heard from someone else that garbage from New York City comes to Columbus OH, I was completely amazed when I heard that. I was thinking instantly just how much garbage do we all produce on a daily basis. Another thing that sparked my interest in doing research on this project was when I found the YouTube video of the big mass of plastic floating out in the open ocean. It is a mass of a pretty huge size.
According to the article “Human Footprint” by Dan Kulpinski, we Americans discard four-fifths of a ton of trash per person, per year. Americans generated 251 million tons of trash in 2006. Our per capita trash disposal rate was 4.6 pounds per person, per day. Sixty-five percent of it came from residences, while 35 percent came from schools and commercial locations such as hospitals and businesses. Right now, for every pound of garbage people generate, about seven pounds of waste are produced upstream (in the manufacturing process, before the product gets to the consumer). If your trash goes to a landfill it will end up sealed in the ground. It won’t decompose much, if at all, because air and water can’t get in. “Most landfills are more like mummifiers than composters,” wrote Elizabeth Royte in “Garbage Land.” They can leak liquids into the groundwater. If your trash goes to an incinerator, it gets burned and turned into ash, which is used to make roads or parking lots, or is dumped into landfills. In Manhattan, diesel trucks carry garbage 7.8 million miles every year, according to “Trash and the City”, a report by Environmental Defense. That is the equivalent of circling the Earth 312 times. “Waste is just really a design flaw and we have to be pushing on manufacturers and product designers to design things which are easily recyclable,” said Krebs.
Recycling has benefits such as manufacturers using less greenhouse gases that impact the environment. According to the EPA, recycling provides an annual benefit of 49.7 million metric tons of carbon equivalent emissions reduced, comparable to removing 39.4 million passenger cars from the road each year. Scrap paper is our number one U.S. export by volume and scrap metal is among our most valuable exports.
Jack Johnson singing the song “The 3 R’s” is about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It is a song that my kids and I enjoy listening to and singing along with. I recycle everything that can be recycled like paper, plastic, and glass. I have garage sales and donate clothing and used items to Goodwill. I want to make a positive difference living here on planet Earth and make things as less polluted as possible.