Monday, September 8, 2008

50 Tons and what do you get?

I happened to pick up the latest AARP Bulletin in the doctor's waiting room and astounded by a short article by Betsy Towner that itemized just how much garbage the average American generates by age 70.
Would you believe that every day each one of us generates 4.5 pounds of waste? Today's 70 year old will have generated 50 tons of trash in his lifetime. The good news is that 1/3 of that waste is now recycled compared to just 6 percent in 1960.
This is how that 50 tons of lifetime trash breaks down:
1. Yard trimmings 15,450 lbs, 62% recycled
2. Food scraps 11,500 lbs, 2% recycled
3. Newspapers, books, magazines 8,100 lbs, 76% recycled
4. Glass & metal containers 3,700 lbs, 40% recycled
5. Beer and pop bottles/cans 3,600 lbs, 35% recycled
6. Furniture, furnishings 3,200 lbs, .05% recycled
7. Clothing, footwear 2,400 lbs, 15% recycled
8. Mail 2,200 lbs, 39% recycled
9. Electric appliances 1,850lbs, 65% recycled
10. Plastic bags & wrap 1,600 lbs, 8% recycled
Odds are if you are reading this, you are not even close to 70 years old! Hopefully, you are already reducing, reusing and recycling to cut back on the waste you and your family generate.
Let these figures simply encourage you to recommit and renew your efforts to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle. It would seem there's plenty of room for improvement!

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