Online Courses in Sustainability
Welcome to the Waste Reduction Challenge
All signed up? Now visit the How to Participate section to make the most of your initiatives!
Many of us don't think about how much we throw away each day and where it ends up. We've become disconnected from the waste stream and the processes involved because it has become so easy - throw something away and never see it again! This program is designed to make students aware of the implications of creating waste and identifies the ways we can all work together to reduce waste and recycle more.
Did you know .... ?
Recycling one ton of paper would:
- save enough energy to power the average American home for 6 months.
- save 7,000 gallons of water.
- save 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent (MTCE).
- reduces greenhouse gas emissions that can contribute to climate change by avoiding methane emissions and reducing energy required for a number of paper products.
- extends the fiber supply and contributes to carbon sequestration.
- saves considerable landfill space.
- reduces energy and water consumption.
- decreases the need for disposal (i.e., landfill or incineration which decreases the amount of CO2 produced).
More Tidbits about Trash!
- Each person in the United States created a daily average of 4.5 pounds (2.04 kilograms) of solid waste
- According to a 2010 EPA estimate, Americans create roughly 251 million tons (228 million metric tons) of garbage per year. To visualize this number, imagine the RMS Titanic, which weighed 46,329 gross tons (47,072 metric tons). The United States generates more than 4,837 Titanics worth of solid waste in a normal calendar year.
- Using recycled aluminum requires 96% less energy than manufacturing new aluminum from its virgin material, bauxite. Other commonly recycled items have a strong energy reduction when compared with the energy intensity used to extract their virgin materials.
- If every American recycled his or her newspaper just one day a week, we would save about 36 million trees a year.
- For every four-foot stack of paper you recycle, you save a tree.
- Ton for ton, recycling reduces more pollution, saves more energy and reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions more than any other solid waste management option.