How about some startling figures to start us off?
Each year, the typical American family throws out 2,460 pounds of paper, 540 pounds of metals, 480 pounds of glass and 480 pounds of food scraps.
The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.
Americans throw away 25 billion Styrofoam coffee cups every year, and 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles every hour.
Americans throw away about 40 billion soft drink cans and bottles every year. Placed end to end, they would reach to the moon and back nearly 20 times.
Eighty-four percent of a typical households waste including food scraps, yard waste, paper, cardboard, cans, and bottles can be recycled.
Using recycled paper for one print run of the Sunday edition of The New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
In the U.S., 4.39 pounds of trash per day and up to 56 tons of trash per year are created by the average person.
Only about one-tenth of all solid garbage in the United States gets recycled.
Diapers: An average child will use between 8,000 -10,000 disposable diapers ($2,000 worth) before being potty trained. Each year, parents and babysitters dispose of about 18 billion of these items. In the United States alone these single-use items consume nearly 100,000 tons of plastic and 800,000 tons of tree pulp. We will pay an average of $350 million annually to deal with their disposal and, to top it off, these diapers will still be in the landfill 300 years from now. Americans throw away 570 diapers per second. That's 49 million diapers per day.
The amount of glass bottles Americans throw away every two weeks would have filled both World Trade Center towers.
Americans throw away enough aluminum cans to rebuild our commercial air fleet every three months, and enough iron and steel to supply all our nation's automakers every day.
In the U.S., an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated during the holidays. Four million tons of this is wrapping paper and shopping bags.
Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail every year. Most of it winds up in landfills.
In one day, Americans get rid of 20,000 cars and 4,000 trucks and buses.
As of 1992, 14 billion pounds of trash were dumped into ocean annually around the world.
Facts about our waste
Here's an idea. Instead of creating the garbage in the first place--let's try to conserve. Stop buying bottled water; buy a filter. Stop buying ready-made foods; they're not as good [or flavorful!] for you as something you make yourself. Many, many things you buy can be made at home with little effort--and you KNOW what goes into it.
Save clothing from the junkyard--but in thrift stores. Support your fellow man crafter and buy something homemade from someone else--instead of something from another country.
Apologies in advance for videos with foreign languages. I believe the instructions are easy enough to follow.. I just went with the ideas to bring more ingenuity!