It’s an unfortunate fact that we have to deal with in the United States: we produce more waste than any other country at an estimated 30% of all waste in the world. The 11 billion tons of solid waste we produce annually ends up in our landfills. But over 80% of those things could be reused or recycled in some way in order to prevent them from contributing to this land pollution.
And it’s not just solid waste in landfills that’s the problem. Our plastic waste, part of the 11 billion tons of solid waste we produce, has increased by 10% each year over the past 20 years. Plastic water bottle pollution is one of the biggest effects of sewage pollution and water pollution in the seas, causing hazards to fish and sea mammals; this is especially prevalent in the Pacific Ocean.
In addition to solid waste, there are other pollutants in our waters that can kill us. The waste that winds up in our waters leads to the harmful effects of sewage pollution, such as the spread of disease and other contaminants that enter our drinking water supply. In U.S. waters alone, we dump an estimated 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage water, storm water, and untreated waste each year.
In short, pollution is one of the biggest killers in the world, with over 100 million people suffering from the effects of sewage pollution, land pollution, water pollution, air pollution, and other contaminants. However, there are solutions, such as learning how to recycle at home.
Making an effort to “go green” at home is easy today with private and municipal recycling programs and incentives. Using recycling bins for mixed papers, plastics, glass, and metals at home makes taking out the trash a lot less frequent. With the number of materials able to be recycled and reused today, reducing plastic waste, for instance, is easy. Try drinking tap water instead of bottled water, and use reusable water bottles rather than disposable plastic ones.
There are several other methods you can use to help keep the environment a cleaner place, as well. Recycle electronics that you’re not using any more, rather than throwing them in the trash. If you want to improve air quality in your area, be sure to only drive when you need to, and carpool if you can. Find ways to reuse old household items and clothing, or donate them to those in need. Also, take shorter showers and don’t leave the water running when brushing your teeth in order to avoid wasting water.
Have questions about how to recycle or suggestions for going green at home? Leave a comment below. This is a great source for more.