Since 1960, the amount of waste generated by a single person has nearly doubled from 2.7 to 4.6 pounds (1.2 to 2.0 kilograms) each day [source: EPA]. Trimming that weight is going to require daily effort from all of us, but luckily there are effortless ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.
The first step to recycling is to know what can and can't be recycled. Most communities make it easy for us to recycle aluminum, steel, plastic, glass and paper, either curbside or at a community collection center. You may not know that with a little research (do an online search) you can also recycle your old electronics, motor oil and other household waste -- you can even recycle old wine corks. Items not recycled can be reused: rather than throwing away your ill-fitting pants, make regular donations to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
More Great Links
- Brown, Timothy. "What is Earth Day?" America.gov. U.S. Department of State. 2008. http://www.america.gov/st/env-english/2008/April/20070420114325jtnworb0.9966699.html
- "Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs for Consumers." ENERGY STAR - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls
- "Frequently Asked Questions - Basic." Transfair USA. 2008.http://www.transfairusa.org/content/resources/faq.php
- Gogoi, Pallavi. "The Local Food Movement's Many Faces." Business Week. 2008. http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/05/0521_local_food/index_01.htm?campaign_id=msn
- "Greenhouse Gases, Climate Change, and Energy." Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S. Department of Energy. 2008.http://www.eia.doe.gov/bookshelf/brochures/greenhouse/Chapter1.htm
- "Human Appropriation of the World's Fresh Water Supply." The Global Change Program. University of Michigan. 2006.http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/freshwater_supply/freshwater.html
- "On the Road." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2008.http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/road.html
- "Organic Food." LocalHarveset. http://www.localharvest.org/organic.jsp
- "Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious?" Mayo Clinic. 2008. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255
- "Protect the Environment: At Home and in the Garden." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/epahome/home.htm
- "Reducing your impact." Carbon Footprint. http://www.carbonfootprint.com/evidence.html
- "Wastes - Resource Conservation - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2009. http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/rrr/reduce.htm
- "What is Earth Day?" Earth Day for Kids. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2004. http://www.epa.gov/superfund/kids/earthday.htm
Seed banks literally 'bank' seeds for our future. But a new study found not all seeds can be properly stored. HowStuffWorks looks at what this means.