Okay, so that's the story behind just two materials; how do they all add up? Well, each pound of mixed municipal solid waste (MSW) that you recycle is not only a pound saved from many years in a landfill, but saves 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Considering that the average person recycles (or composts) 1.5 pounds of MSW every day, it can really add up; every ton of recycled MSW saves 2.27 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
And it doesn't stop there. As stated above, on average, we recycle about 1.5 out of 4.5 pounds of MSW each day -- about one-third of our waste. If we get that number closer to 50 percent, or half of our waste recycled, we'd save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per household each year.
So, for any other dubious readers, please understand: Yes, it makes a difference when you recycle. That said, it alone certainly isn't enough to keep your green planet turning 'round. It's a great start, but it's terribly important to not be content with stopping there. Buy green power for your home, be more conscious about how you fly, and become a weekday vegetarian, and you'll have cut your carbon footprint in half, just like that. Recycling is good; living green -- your electricity, your transportation, your food -- is even better.
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