According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the world population is expanding at a mind-boggling rate. The world reached 1 billion people in 1800; 2 billion by 1922; and over 6 billion by 2000. It is estimated that the population will swell to over 9 billion by 2050. That means that if the world’s natural resources were evenly distributed, people in 2050 will only have 25% of the resources per capita that people in 1950 had.
The world has a fixed amount of natural resources - some of which are already depleted. So as population growth greatly strains our finite resources, there are fewer resources available. If we intend to leave our children and grandchildren with the same standard of living we have enjoyed, we must preserve the foundation of that standard of living. We save for college educations, orthodontia, and weddings, but what about saving clean air, water, fuel sources and soil for future generations?
Some of the greatest threats to future resources come from things we throw away everyday. Household batteries and electronics often contain dangerous chemicals that may, if sent to a local landfill, leak through the bottom barrier and pollute the groundwater. This can contaminate everything from the soil in which our food grows, to the water which will eventually come out of aquifers and into our tap water. Many of these chemicals cannot be removed from the drinking water supply, nor from the crops that are harvested from contaminated fields. The risks to human health are tremendous.
Throwing away items that could be recycled diminishes energy, water and natural resources that could be saved by recycling.
Did you know...
- For every ton of paper that is recycled, the following is saved: 7,000 gallons of water; 380 gallons of oil; and enough electricity to power an average house for six months.
- You can run a TV for six hours on the amount of electricity that is saved by recycling one aluminum can.
- By recycling just one glass bottle, you save enough electricity to power a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
The more we throw away, the more space we take up in landfills. When a landfill becomes a “landfull”, taxpayers have to build a new one. The less we throw away, the longer our landfills will last. The amount of taxpayer money we save by extending the longevity of our landfills is an important community benefit.
Courtesy of Go Green Intiative