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Facts


Recycling

  • Last year the amount of energy saved from recycling aluminum and steel cans, plastic PET and glass containers, newsprint and corrugated packaging was equivalent to: (NRC)
    • The amount of electricity consumed by 17.8 million Americans in one year
    • 29% of nuclear electricity generation in the U.S. in one year
    • 7.9% of electricity generation from fossil fuels in the U.S. in one year
    • 11% of the energy produced by coal-fired power plants in the U.S.
    • The energy supplied from 2.7% of imported barrels of crude oil into the U.S.
    • The amount of gasoline used in almost 11 million passenger automobiles in one year.
  • 62,600 gallons of water are needed to produce one ton of steel; 1,500 gallons to process one barrel of beer; and 9.3 gallons to process one can of fruit or vegetables. (EPA)
  • The energy saved by recycling one plastic bottle will power a computer for 25 minutes. (Think Green)
  • The average office worker uses up 10,000 sheets of paper-about a whole tree's worth of wood pulp-per year. (GreenIQ)
  • Recycling 100 million phones would recover 3.4 metric tons of gold-gold that would not have to be mined. (EPA)
  • Recycled aluminum saves 95% of the energy cost of producing aluminum from raw materials (NRC)
  • Eight out of 10 plastic water bottles become landfill waste. (Earth911)
  • Plastic bottles take 700 years before they begin to decompose in a landfill. (Earth911)

Lighting & Electrical

  • Phantom electricity (power drawn by electronics that are turned off, but still plugged in) emits about 12 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere a year from the US alone. (Conservation International)
  • Switched-off devices account for 40 percent of the energy consumed by electronics in an average home. (TreeHugger.com)
  • 130 million cell phones each year go into retirement. (EPA)
  • The U.S scraps about 400 million pieces of consumer electronics equipment-e-waste-per year. It's the fastest-growing waste stream. (Electronics TakeBack Coalition)
    • If you buy a new system, Apple and Dell will recycle your old computer, regardless of manufacturer. (Dell Recycling)
  • Search EPEAT.net's Product Registry to find computers and monitors that are certified green. (EPEAT.net)
  • Shopping for a new HDTV? Plasma TVs consume far more energy than LCDs, and they waste it as heat energy. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Shopping for a surge protector? Buy one of reasonable capacity. The bigger it is the more energy it consumes. (PCMag.com)

Landscaping

  • More than half of the trash a family throws away every year, about 1,200 pounds, is organic matter that could be composted into fertile soil. (Earth911)
  • Since World War II, 80,000 chemicals have been developed to optimize our pesticides, cleaners, plastics, personal care products and industrial products. (Earth911)
  • Gasoline-powered landscape equipment (mowers, trimmers, blowers, chainsaws) account for over 5% of our urban air pollution. (EPA)
  • Residential application of pesticides is typically at a rate 20 times that of farmers per acre. (EPA)
  • Biodiesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel produced from domestic, renewable resources. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. It can be used in compression ignition (diesel) engines with no major modifications. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. (Biodiesel.org)
  • Biodiesel fuel is available today -- have it delivered to your door!
  • Biodiesel is 10 times less toxic than table salt!
  • Substitutes for home heating oil
  • Can be used for power generation
  • Makes a great solvent, cleaner and paint remover
  • Yard waste (mostly grass clippings) comprises 20% of municipal solid waste collected and most still ends up in landfills. (EPA)
  • A lawn has less than 10% of the water absorption capacity of natural woodland – a reason for suburban flooding. (EPA)

Purchasing

  • If you live in a typical U.S. home, your appliances and home electronics are responsible for about 20% of your energy bills. (U.S. Dept of Energy)
  • Key benefits from purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified products (Energystar.gov)
    • Reduced energy use of 10-75%, without compromising quality or performance
    • Fewer emissions of greenhouse gases, resulting from reduced use of fossil fuels
    • Significant return on investment
    • Extended product life (for specific products) and decreased maintenance
  • ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs (Energystar.gov)
    • ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
    • Save about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime.
    • Produce about 75 percent less heat, so they're safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.
    • Are available in different sizes and shapes to fit in almost any fixture, for indoors and outdoors.