Consider this: after recycling your soda can, it takes as few as 60 days (10+01) for it to appear on your grocery shelf again. In addition, “The energy you save by recycling a single aluminum can will run a TV for three hours,” according to recyclingfacts.org.
Given that decomposition in a landfill takes as long as 80-100 years for an aluminum can (10+02), 700 years for a plastic bottle, and one million years (10+06) for a glass container, it’s clear that, by recycling, we can have a pretty large impact on our environment with minimal effort.
Recycling our computers and cell phones is also becoming increasingly important, especially given the toxic substances they contain. Over 4 billion people use cell phones world wide, and on average, we replace them every 14 months. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 Resource Conservative Challenge Update, “If Americans recycled the 100 million cell phones discarded each year, we would conserve enough energy to power nearly 20,000 US households for an entire year.” These are just a few things to consider the next time you find yourself walking towards a garbage can.